The Importance of Building a Positive Rapport with Colleagues

I just have to share this. I had an absolute blast at work today and I know you’re probably thinking I’m going to say something like it’s because I had some great moment with my students or that because I taught an awesome lesson. None of that is what it was about. I had such a fun day because of my PE coworkers. It was in between classes and in our office.

Welcome to the PE Express podcast. Two to three times a week, a PE expert will share a tip activity idea or teaching strategy to help you become a better PE professional. Today’s host is a PE Teacher from Mesa High School, from Mesa, Arizona, and SHAPE’s Southwest district high school teacher of the year, Maria Corte.

Today I’d like to talk about the importance of building a positive rapport with your colleagues. I am so grateful to work with such fun people who enjoy their job as much as I do, but it’s not always easy and it does take work. We have to respect each other’s differences. Sometimes we have to give each other space at times and know when to lend support when needed and in my opinion there is absolutely no place for gossip, jealousy, or even destructive competitiveness. I think blowing off steam in the office or with other staff members on campus is a great way to come down from being on all the time with your students. Some of the things we do as a department at my school to foster a positive working environment is to have potlucks, celebrate birthdays, sometimes we do harmless pranks. It could be as simple as throwing the ball around in between classes.

We try to coordinate a happy hour once in a while, maybe once every couple months we’ll bring unexpected treats or even as simple as give each other a compliment or a thanks. Thanks for doing this. Thanks for covering my lunch duty or whatever it may be. Look, I know if I’m in a good playful mood before I start class, I know without a doubt I will be a better teacher. I’ll smile more, have more energy. And what always ends up happening is my students mirror me, they mirror my attitude. It’s a win-win. I’ve been teaching for over 25 years and I’m so happy to say that I absolutely still love my job so much. Not only because of the students, but because of the people I work with. PE is supposed to be fun, you guys, so let’s not take our jobs or ourselves so seriously.

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