Welcome to another edition of Teachers of SIS Rocks!
This week we want to highlight Rachael MacMillan, a Pre-K 2 teacher at Mountainside.
She was nominated by her peers for her leadership in fostering a strong grade level team.
In her words, “The best way is for teachers to support other teachers.”
1. What did you want your fellow teachers to know or understand?
We are a team, everyone has a place in a team.
It does not matter if you are a team leader or not, you can always help others.
I remember when I was new you always felt behind trying to balance all the daily things you had to complete. This is where a team can come in and help sort these things out.
This helps them get organized and settled as a teacher. Which in turn, allows them to focus on what is important…improving the student learning in the class. Additionally, this makes it easier for the new teacher to give back to the team.
2. What skills did you want your fellow teachers to gain?
Every new person brings something to the table. The more we are able to make them comfortable, the quicker they will be able to add their unique abilities to the students and to our team.
Essentially it is the idea to “pass the buck” or “pay it forward.”
When you are able to give, it will come back to you!
3. How did you lead in the past?
Well, for me it started out at a very young age.
First, there was babysitting. Then I worked as a manager at Dunkin Doughnuts. Through it all, I always was the person to teach and train new people.
Even when I go home for a break now, my mom waits for me to teach her about the newest technologies.
4. How did you problem-solve and be creative to come up with this new method for this lesson?
I have always been an introspective person, but this has improved as I have gotten older. This growth came because I grew as an adult, which then impacted my leadership abilities.
Leadership centers around being open, asking questions, and making mistakes.
I am consistently asking myself,
How could I have done that better?
Or, collaborating with other teachers and asking,
How would you have handled that, what would you have done differently?
These questioning coupled with my calm nature help me get to the root of the problem.
Also, I am not afraid to admit when I make a mistake, as this usually leads to a big learning.
Lastly, is the ability to see everyone as equals. Everybody is human.
I still remember what my mom told me when I was a young child,
“ Who do you think you are.”
That still reminds me to see everyone eye to eye.
Everyone needs a Smart Auntie (a role model who has had more experience, maybe an admin figure).