Teachers create strong connections, communicate outside of school

To become closer with their co-workers, some teachers work together outside of school to plan lessons and activities and get to know one another on a personal basis. These relationships help them connect with each other in and out of the classroom.

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Growing stronger…Going to fun activities outside of school together, the teachers of the world language department make connections with each other. In the fall of 2017, the department spent their afternoon at Painting With a Twist for their yearly team building activity.

By making calls, sending text messages, and spending quality time with each other outside of the classroom, teachers are able to create deep and professional relationships with each other.
According to world language department coordinator Anne Fitch, spending time outside of school helps create friendships with other staff.
Each fall, the world language department has a team-building day, where they’ve done escape rooms, bowling, mini-golf and have gone out to eat. Fitch believes these activities allow them to “just have fun” and “become friends, instead of just colleagues.”
“I think overall, we have an awesome faculty here. I think all of us have a good sense of camaraderie,” Fitch said. “All of us, from our administration on down, there’s a friendship where we can and do have fun together, Fitch said.
Even though the science department doesn’t spend a lot of time together outside of school, their relationships come from being “very collaborative,” science department coordinator Christine Jackson said.
While school was shut down in the spring, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the science department worked to “give students experiences that they would normally get in a lab,” Jackson said.
The science department tries to work together on labs and lessons, resulting in better lessons for students.
“That’s what brings us together. We help each other out when somebody needs something,” Jackson said. They work together on different labs and lessons, “so that you’re not on your own, on an island all by yourself teaching your classes,” Jackson said, “We’re really close, we have good relationships.”
Similar to the science department, many of the music teachers also work together whenever they can.
The music department participated in Zoom calls over the summer, to know each other better, and planned for safety precautions regarding COVID-19
At the beginning of the school year, band director Adam Tucker spent a lot of time with the new chorus director, Jon Timmons.
“When we were in hybrid we would speak for two hours at a time just trying to get to know each other,” Tucker said, as well as “trying to figure out what we were going to do this year, and planning for this.”
Though the music department doesn’t spend time outside of school together, they’re still very friendly with each other. “We are all very friendly with each other, it’s a very easy group to get along with,” said Tucker.
Even though they couldn’t see each other face-to-face during last year’s break, many teachers continued to stay connected with one another virtually, mostly through Microsoft Teams and texting.
Staying in touch with co-workers “created more of a professional bond in dealing with some of the struggles,” Fitch said. “We ended up complaining to each other but it was a shared mutual coping, just trying to figure it out together.”
According to Fitch, Principal Sam Varano encourages people to be more than “a robotic person that comes into work and does their job and then leaves.”
“This whole organization is very relaxed yet everyone maintains the parameters of professionalism; so we tend to be more friendly,” Fitch said