Tips For Meeting With The Principal
Working relationships among teachers, the school’s principal and superiors are part of what makes the job so fulfilling. As a teacher, positive relationships with your superiors can be as important as the lessons you teach. When you communicate and work cohesively with school administrators, you realize how much easier it is to achieve your teaching goals.
At times, it can be easy to forget that your school’s principal and other administrators are human beings. It’s important to remember that your superiors are on your side and dedicated to each student’s success. Establishing trust and communicating openly can be the difference between an excellent working relationship and a complicated one.
Continue reading for more tips on how to talk to your principal as a teacher.
How to successfully talk to your principal
Being Prepared - A principal meeting with teachers can be intimidating. Never attend a meeting with your principal or team lead unprepared. No matter if you initiated the meeting of if you had been invited. Take those few minutes to prepare your mind. Think of possible arguments you could use or you should even avoid. Thinking the issue through beforehand gives you also the chance to think about the wording you might be using. Sometimes those little things can make a huge difference since specific words trigger specific emotions and reactions.
Putting Yourself in your Principal’s Shoes - Always try to see things from your team lead’s or principal’s perspective. Try to imagine why they think and act the way they do. Of course, you can expect them to do the same thing for you. But if you think about what’s most important to your superior you find out about what drives your team lead or principal, and if you then use these insights in your line of argument, you increase your chances to be successful.
Documenting the Progress and Results of Meeting – Make notes during your meeting. That helps to exactly remember later what has been said and how you left things between you. Have your team lead or principal read your notes and encourage to make corrections if necessary. That way you both have the same understanding about your meeting.
Most important: Not letting fear come in your way
If feeling intimidated or even afraid before an important conversation with your team lead or principal is an issue for you, it’s definitely worth trying to fight those negative feelings.
Being well prepared is one thing of course, but as soon as your emotions go wild, your ability to stay cool and to control all of your reactions might be impaired. A very easy method to calm down is conducting breathing exercises which you can carry out even days before your important conversation takes place. Carry them out as often as you need, with each exercise your mind will calm down and so will your thoughts and emotions when you think of the upcoming meeting.
What also helps is to really concentrate on your strengths. Think of all the things you are actually good at and all the good things you do for your students, the parents and your school in general. Be honest with yourself and also admit your weaknesses, communicate you are open to learn and improve things whenever you can.
What can I do when I don’t feel supported by my principal?
If you feel like you are lacking basic support from your team lead or principal, the best and first choice is to openly talk about it. But of course, not without being prepared.
First, make notes about any facts and details which seem important to you. Think about how all that makes you feel to get clarity for yourself, and note your feelings and emotions down, too. Then think about what you wish for in the future, what your goals are and what you yourself can do to reach them. That could be as simple as always having an open conversation about anything that stands between you and your team lead or principal.
Set up a meeting and make sure you say directly what you noted down in the beginning. Communicate in a very open and honest way. If you express yourself in I-statements you avoid hurting anybody’s feelings. If you feel like it is necessary, ask someone you trust to be the mediator in your conversation.
Stay relaxed and don’t be afraid of making mistakes
In the end, nobody is perfect, neither you nor your team lead or principal. Everybody is allowed to make mistakes and learn from them. What differs some people from others, is that some people are willing to learn a lot from their mistakes and others aren’t. But that is something you are completely in control of for your own person, but you can certainly not control it for others.
So, do whatever is in your power to prepare for your meeting with the principal, no matter what it is about, and the rest will fall in place. By considering that, you behave in a professional way and can therefore stay relaxed.
If you’re looking for more hands-on training to help you prepare for your one-on-one meeting with a manager, check out my Talking to Superiors course. You’ll learn valuable skills you can apply in your workplace immediately.
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- Stay relaxed prior to a one-on-one meeting by using smart strategies
- Boost your success in the meeting by laying the foundation, preparing and acting professionally
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- Handle even difficult superiors by learning about professional reactions
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