The start of the school year brings new faculty and staff to your campus and shifts returning colleagues into new roles. Earlier this month, you set a plan for getting out of the office and being present with colleagues. Now, it’s time to continue to invest in those connections so your relationships become richer and deeper.
Be intentional: The daily rhythms of school life will bring you together with some colleagues, but not all of them. Revisit the list you made in Week 2. Now that you’re into new rhythms, you know which colleagues you’ll have to make an effort to see, and which you’ll encounter in the typical pattern of your school days. Drop yourself a note in whatever form works best for you (online calendar, sticky note, planner…) so you remember to reach out.
Make the most of your dead time: To avoid having your job sprawl across seven days and eighty hours, you need to make the most of your time on campus. Dead time is found in the little pockets in your day–fifteen minutes between meetings, for example, or the time between the end of the school day and the start of sports practice–that aren’t long enough to schedule. Those pockets are long enough, however, to check in with a colleague or stop by someone’s office.
Plan 1:1 time: When you ask to spend time together with a colleague, you remind them that you value the connection you share and you see them as a priority. It’s easy to assume that planned time together has to be task- or goal-focused. When you make that time relationship-focused instead, you build trust, expand your empathy, and better understand your colleagues–actions that serve as the foundations of honest and compassionate communities.
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