As principals we all wish we could put more time into building social-emotional skills, not only with students but also with teachers. Because when we support teachers’ emotional well-being, we model what we want them to do with kids. One of the fastest ways to connect with teachers is to send regular emails that focus on social-emotional learning instead of the usual school issues.
And to make it easy, we’ve put together five emails for you to simply copy, paste, and send. If these inspire you to write your own, remember these tips:
- Keep it short. There’s no question that teachers are incredibly busy human beings. Most have inboxes that are bursting at the seams! Limit your message to a few sentences and one point.
- Keep it positive. Craft your emails to be something your staff looks forward to—think meme. Use your communications to build warm, encouraging relationships with your staff in the same way you see them interact with their students.
Let’s start with an email that shows teachers you support them.
Subject: Yay, team!
This year has gotten off to an amazing start, and I just wanted to take a minute to let you know how happy I am that we’re all part of the same team. I appreciate your hard work and the tremendous heart you have shown so far and know we will accomplish great things together this year.
Now let’s give them some ideas for how to connect.
Subject: What makes us tick?
The positive relationships I see everyone having with students has a big impact on learning. I have loved seeing all the cool activities you’ve been doing this year. Want to get even closer to your students and learn something new about them? Try asking them to share how they got their name. By the way, how’d you get your name? I’d love to know.
Bonus points: You might want to print this practical guide filled with relationship-building activities and attach it to your email.
Recognize the importance of stress management.
Subject: Calm the body; calm the mind
Wow, sometimes school can feel like a pressure cooker. And if we’re feeling it, imagine how our students are feeling. Please keep an eye out for signs of stress in your classroom (and in yourself). Feel free to take the time to teach students how to slow their breathing, relax their muscles, and calm down. Sharing strategies for managing stress will help all of us be more productive and positive. I’d love to see some students and teachers taking time to meditate. Om!
And applaud teachers for showing their human side.
Subject: We all make mistakes
Learning can be a risky business. I know we all try so hard to create a safe environment for our students to take risks. They need to know (like all of us) that even when they fail there’s something to be learned. So the next time you goof up, share your story with your students and show them that we’re all learning, all the time.
Finally, empower teachers to share their wisdom.
Subject: Of course I talk to myself (sometimes I need expert advice!)
Okay, I admit I’ve been seen walking down the hall muttering to myself. Personally, I find that talking through problems helps me gain a clearer understanding of a situation and figure out next steps. Teach your students how to use this type of self-talk to solve problems. Tap into your vast experience and model metacognition strategies that work for you.
When school communities are supportive, culturally responsive, and focused on building relationships and community, great things are possible. Learn more about how making small changes, like sending a quick email, to regularly remind teachers and students that they matter can make a difference.