Now that I have started my summer job(s) full time I unfortunately do not have as much availability to substitute teach as I did previously. Thankfully my employer was willing to be flexible with my hours so that I could have every Friday off in order to substitute teach in either "T-Division" or "M-Division", which are both within driving distance of our home! Now some people may find it weird that I am choosing to take one day off work just to go to another job but it was really important to me to substitute teach and get to know people in the division because this time next year I will be applying for jobs here! I can only hope that substitute teaching is allowing me those networking opportunities that may help me get a job down the road (fingers crossed).
So this past Friday I was able to substitute teach a Grade 7 class in "M-Division". What a great experience! All I can say is that attitude is everything and positive staff can make such an amazing difference. Now just to be clear, I have never actually had a bad experience in any of the schools I have been in, but some have had a much more positive work environment than others. Do you know what I mean? The schools where all the staff are friends, they are working collaboratively and everyone has common goals for the students. Well the school I was at on Friday had exactly this! From right when I pulled up to the school I was greeted by another teacher who welcomed me and showed to where the office was. I had the opportunity to meet the Principal, Vice-Principal and office staff immediately and was then given a tour of the entire school by the E.A (Educational Assistant) that would be in my classroom through the day. As our classroom's E.A and I made our way to our classroom I was then greeted by the teachers across the hall from me who also welcomed me and told me all about the Grade 7 classes. To top it all off, the Principal even stopped in during the first period to ensure that I had found everything and that it was all going well. What a great feeling!
Attitude is EVERYTHING when it comes to teaching (and most jobs) and a positive work environment does not stop at the teachers themselves, it all transfers down to the students we are teaching. Our students can tell when their teacher(s) are happy at their job and teacher collaboration provides so many great learning opportunities for our students!
Do the teachers in your school work collaboratively? How has it influenced your teaching?