If you have been hanging around over on my Facebook or instagram, you know I cannot stop talking about staff training. This is a make or break factor in your school year. Yes, it’s that important. You need your team. No matter now amazing and hard-working of a teacher you are – you simply can’t do it alone. And a team that isn’t on the same page can do more harm than good.
I have been bringing this up incessantly because the start of the year is the perfect time to get this going. It’s much easier to start the year strong and on the right foot than retrace your steps and add this in later. That being said – if you are reading this mid-way through the year, it’s still not too late. Start now. In the start of the year there are some natural opportunities for staff training and it’s essential to grab on to those.
Whole School Mini-Presentation
Now, please do not let that word ‘presentation’ scare you off. We are on team no excuses this year and your fear of public speaking is not a reason to not do this. When we think about having the best year ever, we want progress not perfection. You want to be a better teacher, leader, team member, colleague, etc. than last year. Having the best year ever just means having a better year than last year. You are only in competition with yourself. One area that we can always improve on is the ability to create an inclusive and welcoming community for our students. We don’t exist in isolation. We are part of a bigger school community. Our goal is independence, inclusion, and skill generalization and for that to occur, we need that whole school community on broad.
So it’s time to do a little whole school training. I made a 5 slide mini-presentation. It’s barely even a presentation, guys. It’s 5 slides. You can do this. This presentation explains your classroom, what the autism diagnosis means, what inclusion can look like, and how to respond to challenging behaviors. Teaching your colleagues about this can drastically change the environment of your school and the success of your year. Get the editable powerpoint here. Check out my FB Live video to learn more about this.
Team Mission Statement
When we think about staff training, we usually think about teaching and working with the staff in our classroom. My favorite way to start the year (or do this mid-year) is to create a team mission statement. This process gets your whole staff on the same page, immediately creates staff buy-in, and puts everything in a positive light. Also – this document will help avoid staff issues later because everyone is clear about expectations.
What do we want for our students? What do we want for our team? What do we want for our school?
When creating this team mission statement – ask your team 3 questions, “What do we want for our students? What do we want for our team? What do we want for our school?” Write the answers down and post it! Revise if needed. Review throughout the year. Refer back to this when there are problems. Make this your guiding force! Learn more on the FB Live. Check out how amazing these two teams’ mission statements are: