As a team we realised that what we were dealing with at times was quite intense and often needed more than one teacher to be able to deal with some situations. We realised that we couldn’t keep doing it alone.
In our meeting we gave ourselves the space to talk about how we were feeling, what we could see happening and what we felt was needed. We agreed that we needed to increase the boundaries and consequences and at the same time offer more support to the students. We knew that we needed to support them to see that there was another way of dealing with things that didn’t involve aggression and violence. As a staff team, we were all committed to the plans that we came up with and all united in our purpose of supporting the children to grow, from there our year changed dramatically.
While it was not an easy path initially, it has been nothing short of inspiring. Because our team is committed to the same purpose, there is a flow between us now. The other day when I was at work, there were several incidents that had happened in some students’ personal lives where they needed genuine support. In the past if all of this had happened at once, it would have been chaotic; however in this situation it wasn’t, and it really struck me in this moment how we had broken down the silos of ‘doing it on our own’.
On this day, we just knew who was where and what was called for in each situation. Some staff stepped in and covered another teacher’s class while they went out to support a student. It was just known who was needed for what, and very little communication was required between us. When I stopped to appreciate this, I also got to feel where we had got to as a team.
As we were all united in our purpose, we would have situations where we would go home and then the next day come to work and share an idea of what we could do next, and two or more of us would have had similar thoughts. We were all connected and working together tightly on this, so we were receiving the same inspiration. This was also evident when it came to dealing with situations, where we would often say very similar things to students about a situation or deliver the same consequence without having spoken to each other. There was now a connection, life and vibrancy between us and the students also tapped into and added to this. They would come up to us and share ideas on what they thought we could do as a year group or suggest a different idea for a project or class learning.
Our school went from being in a divided and volatile position to one that is constantly inspired, pumping, has life, feels like family and is united - something to deeply appreciate, as it offers inspiration for how teachers can work together to change the environment of a school that supports both teachers and students in the process.