Hey school leaders, you have new staff joining you for the upcoming school year. For some of you, that means they report very soon. Some of you, maybe it’s in August or September. Let’s talk about welcoming them the right way. I’m asked often for some ideas to help new staff feel welcome and included in the community. Here are THREE quick tips for welcoming and including your newest members of the team.
- Social media introductions: use your new staff to your community through the use of your social media channels. This gives the people following your school, district, or team page/feed the chance to put names to faces. This also allows for new members of your school community to begin growing their network within your area, learn about places to shop, eat, and hang out in their new home.
- Hold a new staff academy: many districts have built in extra days for their newest staff to be on site. This not only gets them on the payroll earlier, it allows for time needed to set up a classroom or office, begin building relationships with administrative and support staff, and to adjust to new surroundings. But schedule intentional meetings to help the adjustments and get the new staff together to meet each other and find mutual support. Some districts even bring in an outside speaker, hold sessions with leadership or instructional coaches to help bring new members up to speed, or to give tours of the community.
- Give them a starter gift: each year as a building principal, I would have my secretary open a $100 purchase order to a local office supply store for each new member of the staff. Yes, we had a lot of stuff on site, but then they could go pick up any other small things they might want but that we didn’t have. It’s not a lot of money (and if they needed more I always found it for them) but setting them up with this over a ‘clear the list’ shows them their leaders are invested in their future success.
Bonus tip: get them this amazing new book from Crystal Frommert – When Calling Parents isn’t Your Calling. This practical guide to communication and relationship building with parents should be in the hands of every educator. But certainly, make it an annual gift to all new members of your team. You’ll thank me, and Crystal, later.
It is never too early to begin planning for your new team members to arrive on site. If they are like I was as a rookie teacher, and for that matter as a rookie administrator, they are getting moved in and acclimated now. Put a plan together and set them up for success!
Have a #RoadToAwesome week
Tune in this week to “Leaning into Leadership” where my guest is Dr. Benjamin Ritter, founder of Life For Yourself Consulting.
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