To what extent should leaders communicate with support staff? Why? What might an effective communication strategy look like?

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To what extent should leaders communicate with support staff? Why? What might an effective communication strategy look like?

Leaders should communicate with support staff on an ongoing and daily basis. This can be done in a variety or formal and informal ways. They should be included on all school wide communciations. A leader should make it a point to try and connect with each support staff member each day. Frequent scheduled meetings should be held with office staff, custodial staff, and teaching associates to discuss concerns and job duties. This does two things: 1) It allows a avenue for which the support staff is heard and feels validated, 2) It gives the leader insight to how the support staff member is performing and what the leader can do to beter support them. When support staff feel validated and like they have a voice, they are part of the school community (Eaker, Keating, Rhoades, 2008). Additionally, the support staff are really the eyes and the ears of the school and are often a wonderful connection to the community at large.

There is often a rift betwen support staff and certified staff members. Generally support staff members are underpaid and not eligible for benefits. Often times they are part time and there may a feeling that they are considered second class citizens of a school faculty. Nothing could be further from the truth! It is imperative that collaborative leaders cultivate a culture that embraces and elevates support staff to a level that is equal to that of certified personnel.

References

Eaker, R., Rhoades, M., & Keating, J. (2008, November 11). The role of support staff in a professional learning community. Retrieved from: http://www.allthingsplc.info/blog/view/38/the-role-of-support-staff-in-a-professional-learning-community

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