I recently became the acting curriculum leader for my department at school. As it turns out, I am taking a leave of absence starting next year, so this role will just be temporary. (But you never know what can happen when I return!)
I often seem contradictory in my personality traits. I have high anxiety in many social situations, often shying away and hiding from interaction. On the other hand, When I feel “in control” of a situation, I can often be fun, funny and enjoyable to be around.
In previous positions at different schools, I was often a social cheerleader, but typically just for my department, not the school at large. I usually started our birthday month celebration, our potluck lunches, a night out (or in, but only at my place), spirit wear days, even class trips. So some of staff find it so odd that I rarely attend “staff” functions and social outings. It’s just hard for me if I don’t feel in my own element. Selfish maybe, but we all have our strengths and weaknesses.
In my current department, I would like to continue with some social efforts, but also label it as team building. Joining a twitter conversation last week, we talked about not just student engagement, but staff engagement. Many people mentioned outside of school teambuilding and breaking down some of the school identity and connecting on a more personal level.
I want to think outside the box and gather my team in some different ways to build a strong rapport, confidence and trust in each other. There is something treasured about seeing your department members dressed “in character” for a murder mystery party. There is something special seeing your department members rolling up the pant legs getting a pedicure together. We can break down some walls and see each other, being vulnerable; and we build trust, share an experience and value each other as people not just colleagues.
I hope in my new role I can be seen as a competent leader, but also as someone who made an effort to connect with the department and leave them wanting more.