If You Don't Feed the Teachers...
They Eat the Students
If You Don’t Feed the Teachers, They Eat the Students! is listed as a guide to success for administrators and teachers and ultimately is a down-to-earth/creative account of how administrators can meet the needs of their staff not only physically, but equally if not more importantly, emotionally. Neila Connors prefaces with the insight that this book isn’t based on a rigid statistical study but by real life interviews and experiences that have shaped her opinion. The book calls for numerous self-reflections as to what kind of leader you already are and how to know if your staff needs to be “fed”. Once this is established, Connors moves directly into the creation of a climate people want to work in. After giving advice on creating the right “ambiance’” for your school, the chef, or the administrator is addressed. What attributes does the leader need to have? Everything from a positive attitude to a “procrasta-blaster” are explained in detail. Then a transition occurs from what the leader needs to have, to what the leader needs to provide to his or her staff. These are referenced as M.E.A.L.S. (meaningful experiences affecting long term success) which include everything from relevant planning opportunities to school-wide teaming. The author then discusses the heat in the kitchen: stress. She offers advice on dealing with stress in general as well as people who cause stress. No good meal is complete without great desserts which is Connor’s next point. She defines desserts as “defining experiences structured to support, encourage, and reward teachers’ spirit”. There is an amazing list of 150 different ways to do just that including making business cards for staff members to having students wash staff car windows. And finally, the check! The book concludes with a M.I.N.T (masterful ideas needed to survive) which is ultimately a reflection and reminder of all of the advice given throughout. What a meal?!