You’ve probably got at least one staff member cheating on you and it’s probably your fault. It’s that time of year when administrative teams are getting together and looking to shake things up. If we’ve done our job at least one staff member isn’t comfortable and is looking to find a better match.
Sometimes a staff member may be cheating on us with one of our administrative colleagues. For whatever reason we just might not mesh and they find satisfaction and belonging in the building of another. These 5 behaviors are dead giveaways that your staff member is actively searching or already being courted by another.
They never have time to meet
You may have been trying the last three weeks to meet with your staff member and they continue to blow you off. They always have an excuse why they can’t make it down to your office. Or when you stop by their room, they’ve always got a doctor’s appointment. Most staff members that are sticking by you know it’s in their best interest to meet and don’t mind having conversations with you. Those that are on the way out. Don’t care if they’re burning bridges. If you notice this avoidance behavior chances are they’re looking to get out.
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 our staff members decide to leave, behaviors that once got on their nerves no longer do 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.
They avoid making commitments
As the year comes to the end we start planning for the following school year. This is the time we tap staff with leadership potential to take on larger roles. Staff that plans on leaving are non committal about future plans. When you ask them if they’d like to lead they might respond with, “Oh that’s interesting, let me get back to you on that.” Staff who expect to be with you make commitments to the future. If a teacher puts off future commitments, they might not plan on having one with you.
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, depressed staff members, have limited face to face time, and or a lack of commitment, be prepared to swipe right and find someone that you really connect with.
What are other ways staff members behave when they’re cheating on you? Share an observation in the comment section below. If you found this entertaining, educational or cause for reflection, please follow me and click share so your friends and colleagues can benefit as well.
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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......