This blog post is dedicated to Lakesha Barton a great high school Science Teacher, building leader, student advocate, colleague and friend. Enjoy your new job!
As a principal, one of the road bumps of having a great employee is that their skills are transferable. And in many instances they can and will leave and get a much deserved larger salary. We are sad to see them go knowing that their contributions impacted the entire building. This is a time when we are filled with anxiety because we know there will be gaps that must be filled. These three keys will help smooth the transition of that loss.
They’ll be missed
Make sure that to them know how much we appreciate what they’ve done. While we might be put in a short term bind, they have the opportunity to grow. Wish them the best of luck. It’s important that we treat them well, as this sets the tone for the entire building. We also want to keep that relationship healthy because, if we're lucky, that staff member may want to return at a later date. In addition, if other positions open up they could be a reliable contact that we can tap to send talent our way.
Say Good Bye
We want to provide time and space for both a formal and informal goodbye. Staff and students will need closure. Having a ritual send off is a good way for your community to turn the page. Make sure to let your parents know in the weekly newsletter that the teacher is leaving and allow them the opportunity to say their goodbyes as well. Finally, we also should do a formal exit interview. This is a great time to learn about our own weaknesses, find out ways to support current staff and get valuable information on ways to improve the building.
We’re going to need everyone to step up and take on extra tasks while the transition to a new hire takes place. As educators it’s our instinct to be helpful. As the Principal it’s okay for us to say, “Hey this really sucks. She did so much around here I’m not sure how we’re going to cover everything she did. Let’s come up with a plan over the next week, so we don’t miss anything.” This is the time to let our team know we’ll need their assistance.
At some point every Principal will those a valuable staff member. They'll leave for any number of reasons; spouse getting a job out of state, higher salary elsewhere, and just life circumstances. None of those reasons have anything to do with us or how we run our school. Making sure we turn this negative into a positive is why we get paid the medium sized bucks.
How do you mitigate the loss of a great teacher? Leave your suggestions in the comment section below.
I'm a Principal and an Entrepreneur. I'm the former owner of a 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......