I’ve realized in the last couple of years that not every person is lucky-blessed-fortunate (whatever your word) enough to have accommodating, understanding superiors in the workplace. I’ve realized even more that working parents often face the difficulty of working for/with people who just straight-up do not understand the juggling act that is being a working parent. Thankfully, I am here to tell you that there are supportive, helpful, encouraging bosses out there. Because I have a few.
Like you all didn’t already know, I’m a teacher by day. I have four bosses: three assistant principals, and then the main event, the principal of the school. My principal is an extremely driven, hard-working, ambitious female and she and her husband don’t have kids. But. She gets it. She understands the importance of family, she supports pregnant staff members and working parents who teach at our school. Hell, we’ve welcomed like 8 babies in the 3 years I’ve worked at this school, and our principal has attended all baby showers and even given gifts. She is the first person to say, “Go ahead and leave early for that doctor’s appointment” or “Take care of your family first” because she knows us and trusts that we work plenty hours at home, and that no matter what, we’ll take care of our school-related duties and the students at the school just like we take care of our families.
Now, the principal of the school obviously creates the atmosphere of the school in many ways. I believe that my principal chose certain people to work with her because they have a similar mindset. Each community at my school has an assistant principal and a guidance counselor. So as a teacher, I have to work with the assistant principal and the guidance counselor in my community on a daily basis. And I love both.
My assistant principal is the only male leader at my school. He is the father of three boys, a devoted husband, and, as cheesy as it might sound, just an all-around good guy. He is the first to go to bat for a teacher having an issue with a student, he’s the first to open my classroom door if I’m a little late getting there after lunch, he is present every day to help the students get to class, and he’s a voice of encouragement and humor to our entire community. Kinda like Michael Scott. Only a whole lot smarter.
The guidance counselor, though she’s not really my “boss,” has to work with the teachers in my community to deal with scheduling, behavior, emotional issues, parent conferences, and other situations relating to our students. I appreciate her availability to the teachers and the students. She is the real deal.
As this school year draws to a close, my colleagues and I have a lot to celebrate. Even though I’m doing this “working mom” thing for the first time ever and I didn’t know how I would handle it all, my students and the other freshmen in our community made the highest learning gains in the county. *fist pump* I attribute this success to the communication, the dedication, and the genuine care of our staff and its leadership.
My workplace is very much like a family. I don’t feel like my bosses are bullies. I don’t feel like they’re out to get me or they’re standing behind corners watching my every move. Instead, they’re the biggest cheerleaders for the teachers and students. Before I had kids, and in other places I’ve worked, I never really thought about leaders “accommodating” or understanding their employees, or even being involved in their personal lives. I figured we work and they supervise that we do it right. But working at this school, I’ve realized that there are leaders who care about the workplace and care equally as much about the people they work with on a daily basis.
Pretty sure the “bosses” I have now don’t really compare to any I’ve had in the past. They’re on another level entirely. And my husband and I (and our son who had a bad runny nose last Friday which is the reason I called out at the last minute, I’m so sorry!) are so very grateful.
Photo credit: theofficestuff.com