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How Do K-12 Principals Build a Great School Team?

K-12 Principals

Having a great K-12 school team comes down to developing and retaining great teachers. Learn how.

K-12 principals already know how important it is to build a great school team. Having a great school team is especially important during times of high stress. The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged even the most resilient teams with the constant change and uncertainty it has brought to educators. A great school team is imperative for the well-being of both the teachers and the students at your school.

So how can K-12 principals build the great school team they know they need? It comes down to developing and retaining great teachers. Keep reading for some tips on how to do just that.

Build a Great K-12 School Team by Developing and Retaining Great Teachers.

Be Supportive

Not surprisingly, your teachers need supportive leadership. If you want to inspire the kind of passion and loyalty that make successful K-12 schools shine, then your teachers must feel valued and trusted. They need to be confident that their principal is looking out for their wellbeing and respects their professional expertise.

A great way to be supportive is to give every idea a chance: “This doesn’t mean that you have to greenlight every idea that comes across your desk. It does mean you should empower staff to propose creative ideas, however impractical they might seem.”

If your teachers know that you will seriously consider their ideas for improving school matters, you will build a confident, supported team that’s ready to stick around, get creative, and do the hard work of educating students in today’s tense pandemic climate.

How K-12 Principals Can Strengthen Connections Between Teachers

Just as teachers need support from their leadership, they need support from one another. K-12 principals can strengthen connections between teachers as a priority.

When discussing 5 Characteristics of an Effective School Team, the George Lucas Educational Foundation posts that “in schools with low staff turnover (even in challenging urban contexts), teachers report feeling connected to colleagues and supported by them. Public education is a hard place to be these days — we need structures (such as strong teams) that cultivate our emotional resilience.”

A feeling of “we’re all in this together” will go a long way to build an emotionally resilient school team; one that is full of teachers present for their students no matter what changes they’re all facing.

Appreciate Differences as a Valuable Resource Another way K-12 principals to develop and retain great teachers is to appreciate their individual differences: “Good school teams can see and appreciate individual differences. They see individual staff differences as a strength to students, themselves, and the work of the school. They see individual differences as a valuable resource they may use to improve their teaching, solve problems, and reach goals.”

We all have our differences. We all have our strengths and our weaknesses. To prevent unproductive “group think” and promote creative solutions to your pressing problems, teachers must be confident that their differences are seen as a valuable resource. Then they can all put their strengths to work for the team instead of wasting time worrying about or hiding their weaknesses.

Provide Transformative Training

If you want to truly be supportive, strengthen connections between teachers, and appreciate differences as a valuable resource, then providing transformative training for your school is a practical step.

Coveted as the industry’s most effective and easy-to-implement system, True Colors has decades of experience helping K-12 principals provide transformative training to schools of all types and sizes.

True Colors can help you build a great school team by teaching your staff a language for understanding individual personality traits — lessening misunderstandings, heightening unity, and improving communication overall. We also provide frameworks for applying this shared language and the new communication techniques True Colors introduces.

Effective communication is an essential ingredient for the success of any school. Providing training in this area will improve the outcomes of every other strategy you implement to build a great school team.

K-12 Principals Deserve a Great School Team

You deserve a great school team. So do your teachers and your students. Times are trying in education and collaboration and teamwork is more important than ever. By following the tips above, K-12 principals can develop and retain great teachers, teachers who are shaping the future — one student at a time.

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