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  • Writer's pictureLesha Dalton

NEW: Needs Extra Warmth

Embracing the Concept of Warmth

For some of you, when I throw out the word “warmth”, you might think of hot cocoa, mittens, or fuzzy slippers. For others, you might think of your grandmother’s hug, how you’re greeted by a loved one after returning from a trip, or the graciousness of an outstanding host. That’s the warmth I’m talking about here. The warmth that makes you literally feel someone else’s kindness and enthusiasm while being around you. That’s the warmth I feel is vitally important to share with new teachers.

The Onboarding Process: More than Hiring

As a school administrator, the interviewing and hiring process can be draining. You invest time and resources in finding just the right teachers to bring into your school family. And while it might be nice to think that the onboarding process is done with the recommendation to hire step, nothing could be further from the truth. Onboarding a new teacher involves at least a year of committed support that starts right after you offer them the job until they’ve successfully completed a year on your campus.

Needs Extra Warmth: A New Way to Think of New Teachers

Here's how I like to think of new teachers and what we can do to support them. Three little words: Needs Extra Warmth (NEW). This is the warmth they feel after they leave the interview and hope they get the job at your school. It is the warmth they later talk about that they felt when entering your school for the first time. It is the warmth they can hear in your voice when you call to congratulate them on a great interview and offer them the job. And it is the warmth you’ll keep showing them throughout their first year and beyond.

The Welcome Text: One Way to Show Warmth

There are lots of ways to show warmth to our new teachers. Today, I’m focusing on just one of those ways. I call this the “welcome text.” The welcome text gets sent out to your new teacher once you offer them the job. It’s meant to establish a line of communication for you both and helps you begin to build the foundation of your relationship as members of the same school family. The text is meant to convey your enthusiasm, approachability, and warmth. Here’s an example:

Hi Mrs. Smith! Welcome to Wonderful School! We are thrilled you're going to be a part of our Otter Family! You are joining an incredible team for next year. They will help you make a smooth transition to your new school home. Your team leader is Hilde Lee and her number is XXX-XXX-XXXX. Your mentor is Sarah Smith and her number is XXX-XXX-XXXX. They will likely reach out to you in the next week or two. I'm also here to help you out. You now have my mobile number. I'm a phone call or text away. No question is too silly, and I work at always supporting teachers so they can support kids. I’ll be in touch after you’re officially hired to set up a campus tour and share some goodies with you! Please let me know how I can help you out anytime you need it!

Lesha Dalton Wonderful Elementary School Administrator Office: XXX-XXX-XXXX

Impact of the Welcome Text on New Teachers

The welcome text may not seem like a big deal to you, but when you’re a new teacher who needs that little bit of extra warmth, it goes a long way. It gives them an opportunity to ask questions, to express their excitement at joining your team, and begins to give them a glimpse into your school culture.

Final Thought: Set the Tone From the Beginning

So, as you line up those last few interviews you might have this summer, remember to think about your NEW teachers as Needing Extra Warmth and consider spending a few minutes creating or updating your welcome text with warmth in mind.

Thanks for thinking about this with me. I hope you take care of yourself and each other.

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