I love my job. I really do. But teaching isn’t made for the faint of heart as it comes with such a rollercoaster of emotions and an unending list of things that need to be done; done yesterday. Some days getting ready in the mornings, I already feel overwhelmed just thinking about the upcoming school day. But then I remember that every day I show up not only do I get to teach kiddos that I love BUT I get to see my teacher besties; my support system. It wasn’t always that way but with a conscious effort, co-workers and fellow teachers switched from colleagues to BESTIES. We have gathered some tried and true strategies that can guide you into turning your co-workers into teacher besties as well. And you can do it TODAY!
Tip #1 — SHARE… 👏🏼
your favorite teacher supplies. I know it is hard to think about loaning out those sharpies and sticky notes but when other co-workers come in and ask to borrow, share. When the staff realizes that you have items and you will share them with others, they will be knocking on your door often. 😍
#2 — SPEAKING OF DOORS… 🚪
leave yours open before and after the kiddos are there. An open door signals a welcoming attitude and soon enough, others will be popping their heads in to say hello and maybe strike up a conversation.
Tip #3 — VOLUNTEER 💙💛🧡
for small tasks and big projects. Working alongside others who are also giving of their time and knowledge gives plenty of opportunities to bond over planning open houses or decorating halls.
#4 — SPEAK UP 📢
at meetings and in teacher workrooms and in the halls. Not enough to gather the eye roll of being ‘that teacher’ but enough to get noticed. Say hello. Introduce yourself. Give compliments. And ask questions.
Tip #5 — BE NICE 😊
to everyone! You and I both know that the school wouldn’t run the same without the secretarial staff, support staff, kitchen staff, and cleaning staff. Be welcoming and warm to all of them. These are the people that interact with everyone and can take you under their wing to introduce you to all sorts of teacher circles.
#6 — SHOW UP! 🤩
I am an introvert and this one is hard for me but oh so important. If there are scheduled social events for teachers, make plans to be there. It is refreshing to see colleagues in other surroundings than school buildings and who knows, you may turn co-workers into some teacher besties over a bowl of chips and salsa!
Tip #7 — KNOCK ✊
on other open doors! Take the time to go to other classrooms and take notice. This is a golden opportunity to comment on lessons they’ve displayed on their walls, talk a little about resources they’ve used to do the lessons, and maybe even begin to share some of your knowledge on resources as well.
#8 — FIND A MENTOR TEACHER 👩🏫👨🏫
you know, the one with all the answers! Questions come up on the regular about all sorts of things related to materials, curriculum, supplies, etc. These know-it-all teachers can help you by guiding you to the right people to find the right things. If the mentor isn’t your person for a bestie, this teacher can introduce you to others who may be!
Tip #9 — PASSION 🥰
Show your passion to others. If you have a specialty, don’t be afraid to share. If you love to bake, for instance, bring in some brownies for the workroom. Have a particular PD that is coming up? Invite a co-worker to attend with you. If teaching math is your favorite, then ask a co-worker to come to watch you teach and give you some additional pointers.
#10 — BE OPEN 😃
Sometimes we have it in our minds that our besties would teach just like us or have the same interests. But your bestie could be the crazy teacher down the hall that is anything but conventional. Don’t shut yourself off to any opportunity.
My teacher squad of besties is amazing. I can’t imagine working without them. Hopefully, if you haven’t quite found your people at school yet, these suggestions set you on your way. And if you already found that one teacher bestie, maybe this list can help you expand to a squad or maybe it inspires you to mentor someone else into finding their besties. Whatever it takes, teachers and school staff need to be a part of your support system today too! We would love to hear your stories of turning co-workers into teacher besties. Please share your story in the comments below.👇🏼
Written by: Suzanne Kelley
At Education to the Core, we exist to help our teachers build a stronger classroom as they connect with our community to find trusted, state-of-the-art resources designed by teachers for teachers. We aspire to be the world’s leading & most trusted community for educational resources for teachers. We improve the lives of every teacher and learner with the most comprehensive, reliable, and inclusive educational resources.
If you enjoyed what we have to offer at ETTC, be sure to join our email list, so you won’t miss a beat.