It is so easy to get caught up in worrying about school accountability, student success, and constantly measuring our performance that we forget about the things that make people want to be a part of our campus. Making our school a happy place to go to work every day is an essential piece to the success of our school. A happy work environment attracts good people and helps the people who work for you do the best for the school.
Having a happy campus is achievable. Here's a little bit of research on happiness. The feeling of buying something new or receiving a gift creates happiness. It is considered short term happiness. It is exciting but short-lived. The next level of happiness, which lasts longer, is the feeling that you have a pleasant life. That kind of feeling comes from liking what you are doing and feeling good about your job. The most sustainable level of happiness is being able to feel like you are giving back to this world. As school leaders and educators, that is exactly what we are doing. Teachers need to know they are making a difference. You notice their contribution and significance on the campus. Why not let them know it?
Everyone has something to contribute. Everyone matters. I matter. You matter. We all matter. Everyone needs to feel their importance on campus. A simple way to let your teachers know they matter is to say it. It's okay to let the teacher know they "rocked the lesson" or "you like the way they handled a situation." Another simple way to let a teacher know they matter is to listen. Take time to listen and make eye contact. This lets them know you care about what they have to say. Everyone you meet and come in contact all want the same thing in life. They want to matter.
Admitting fault is something great principals do. They don't pass the buck or blame. We set the example. When we take the fall, it sets a risk-taking environment. It's okay to fail. It's okay to not know all the answers. When a teacher falls short on performance or struggles in the classroom, we should recognize a lack of service to this individual. It is our job to provide everything necessary for the teacher to perform satisfactorily or at a proficient level. When a school event goes chaotic, assume responsibility for the oversight of important details. It is not always the teacher's fault when students are out-of-control or when a parent is upset. Things just happen. I have made many mistakes as a leader. I don't deny it. However, I do learn from every mistake. All leaders have made mistakes. Even if the fault is not really your fault take the hit for it. The bottom line isn't really about finding who's at fault. It is really about finding a remedy to the solution.