I recently lost three of my staff members to a better looking, higher status, and more lucrative district. I have to admit that the only way I found out, wasn’t because they were displaying any outward tells, but because they were exposed. These were excellent members of the staff, hard working, creative, team oriented and dedicated to the students. Once one left however, some of the others followed suit. The following are three ways to tell if your staff is leaving you for a better district.
Misty Eyes and Far away looks
As teachers begin to contemplate leaving they may begin to display some of this type of behavior. You might catch them looking fondly at a kid they were furious with just a few days or weeks earlier. You might see them shake their heads and smile and say things like “That’s just Blankty Blank.” instead of correcting the behavior. As staff decides to leave behaviors that once got on their nerves no longer does because they know there is an end in sight for them.
Another sign of teachers getting ready to leave may be a sudden uptick in classroom grades. Teachers may begin to take less time grading the papers that are being turned in as they prepare for another assignment. Perhaps there is less focus on the correct usage of a comma, capital city or congruence of a triangle. Or another indicator could be a sudden adherence to grades being turned in on time and the grade book updated. These changes in behavior could be signs that your staff has found another prospect.
More than likely your entire staff will know before you do that one of their members has found another. You may hear more expressions of black humor or innuendo as you’re walking through the halls. There may be awkward silence as you walk into a room where three or four teachers are gathered. You may also notice hugs and the giving away of valuables like staplers, rulers or lined paper. Or suddenly, teachers who never got along are now cordial as they realize they won't be seeing each other anymore. If you notice this type of behavior a staff member may be leaving.
As principals we are often the last to know that one of our valued staff members is leaving. It’s not even us, it’s them. The other district just might have more to offer. However, if you see misty eyes, an increase in grades and depressed staff members be prepared to find another.
What are some other ways you can tell if a staff member is leaving? Share your insights in the comment section below. If you found this post entertaining and/or informative please share.
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I'm a Principal and an Entrepreneur. I'm an owner of a new food venture Hustling Hoagies, the author of the children's picture books Detective Dwayne Drake and the Alphabet Thief, Detective Dwayne Drake and The Case of the Mathematical Misfit and the ebook Making it as a Male Model in Michigan. I've worked professionally as a model and commercial actor......