The Email I Wish I Could Send: A Letter of DIssent to the Suggestion Box in our Teacher's Lounge

The Email I Wish I Could Send: A Letter of DIssent to the Suggestion Box in our Teacher's Lounge

I woke up this morning, at like 2 a.m and I decided I was going to write an all school email. Which is never a good decision to make at 2 a.m. 

The email was going to be about the suggestion box that was placed in our teacher's lounge a month ago. The suggestion box that I initially shrugged at and thought, hmmm... may be it will be cool this time.

Yeah, it is not cool. That thing has made multiple people cry, just this week.

Now I would not have such a strong opinion if it was my first experience with the suggestion box. It's not, it's my third. With almost the same staff and the same results.

So here is the email I wish I could send, and who know's maybe I will.

"Hey All,

I was going to say this at the next staff meeting but decided to email it instead. I don’t know if this will be as effective, I hope it is.

Most of us have worked together long enough to see three administrators and a lot of us will keep working together to see a couple more (no offense John, you’re doing a great job.)

We have survived A LOT. We, not our admin, WE survived it. We did it together and we did it by talking to each other.

It’s the time of year where we are irritable, exhausted, and anxious for spring. We have to acknowledge it and its temporary-ness.

Open communication and handling conflicts cannot be our administrators’ responsibility. It NEVER works, it always ends up causing more problems than it helps. Assumptions go wild, emotions flare up, and resentment is everywhere. This is not the first suggestion box.

We need to do the inner work to be comfortable with conflict with each other. That is the only way we’re going to grow as a staff and as people. We can solve our problems together, as a team, because admin can’t and it’s not their responsibility.

P.S-

This has nothing to do with Teaching To A Riot and has everything to do with the amount of gossip/speculation I’m hearing."

I live in the midwest and work with a bunch of white people. If you don't know much about midwest white people, we are nice. Which really means we smile when something bothers us and then complain about it later. It actually has a name it's called "midwest nice." 

If you are in education then you know we work in a setting where "midwest nice" isn't a sustainable option. We have to trust each other, feel comfortable communicating, and have high levels of emotional intelligence, all of the things that are completely avoided by being "midwest nice."

P.S:

If you are a person that would fill the suggestion box. Your coworkers know and they are making a lot of assumptions. Just talk to the person.

If you want to read more about handling the stress of the job and emotional intelligence as a teacher click here.

 

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