Workplaces offer great opportunities for building relationships. Due to the nature of the work of public school educators, it’s crucial to communicate with others. While you may not be an extrovert, it’s important to be mindful of creating positive social connections at work because members of the school community must work together for the well-being of everyone.
When you embrace people who may seem different from you, you may be pleasantly surprised at the types of relationships that can develop.
Some people are more assertive about building their social network, while others may be shy or may not consider it important. Think of your relationships at school as one way to practice and enhance your social skills.
To thrive at school, it’s important to build a strong support network. It’s helpful to have solid relationships with different types of colleagues because they can provide different perspectives and types of support.
Be aware of key staff in your building who can be helpful, including your chapter leader, school secretary, custodian, guidance counselor and principal. Appreciate and understand that everyone in the community will have different social styles.
Here are some tips for building relationships in your school community:
- Be open to all sorts of people — you can learn from others.
- Be cordial — smile when you walk by colleagues in the building; say good morning to everyone who crosses your path.
- Have lunch with colleagues, including those you don’t work with directly.
- Be open to getting involved in after-school activities with colleagues.
- Create an interest or hobby group with colleagues.
- Don’t feel pressured to have the same type of friendship with everyone.
- Respect the fact that we all need social time, but we also need alone time.
- Create healthy boundaries so relationships don’t become troubled.
- Don’t take it personally if someone isn’t responsive.
- Understand that building a strong workplace relationship with someone takes time.