This is the fifth in a series of articles entitled 5 Habits of Highly Effective Teachers.
How do you interact with your community? I know for many teachers, this is a frightening proposition. Reading some things that other teachers post, it seems that most teachers who live in the same community wherein they teach either participate in public activities either in fear, out of seeming ignorance, or with balance. this is probably my weakest area and something I am seriously working to get better at. If you have any suggestions, I’d love to hear them.
Participating in fear
This is probably the category I often find myself most associated with. These people avoid most public places. They do their grocery shopping late at night, or early in the morning. In most cases, they would live in another school district if they could.
Participating out of seeming ignorance
These are the people who go out drinking at local restaurants and run to the grocery store in the middle of a Saturday wearing sweat pants and a ripped t-shirt. I wish I could be this unconcerned about things at time, but sadly I am not.
Participating with balance
I think ultimately, the best place to be as far as community participation is somewhere in the middle. If you need to go get groceries in the middle of the day, go. But I think it is best, since you may run into parents and students anywhere, for you to be sure you at least look decent. It raises respect among the others you work with.