Education is a shared journey involving the collective efforts of various stakeholders to create an environment where students can thrive. While teachers often take center stage, the collaboration of classified staff members is an essential thread that weaves the fabric of a thriving school community.

One of my favorite quotes is from Peter Drucker, who said, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” Why does this quote resonate with me? Because as a leader, it reminds me of the importance of the collective efforts of all staff to achieve our goals. The foundation of our joint efforts is collaboration.

As a principal supervisor, I would visit my schools regularly. During my visits, I would spend time observing our front office operations. Why was this important to me? Because the front office is the first stop for parents, students, and the community. Therefore, what transpires in the front office will set the tone for the visit.

During my visits, I have watched many masters of the first impressions. One of my favorite experiences was at an elementary school. The parents arrived very upset. As they approached the front counter, their voice was elevated, and they were highly agitated. Before I could get up to intercept the parent, the school receptionist smiled and greeted the parent by name.

She listened over the next few minutes and reassured the parent that their issue would be addressed. As the parent waited, the receptionist called the instructional paraprofessional. The instructional paraprofessional explained the information to the parent. As the parent prepared to leave, she gave the parent a warm hug and told her she would see her at dismissal.

As a result of the receptionist and the instructional paraprofessional’s actions, the situation was defused, the teacher didn’t leave the classroom, the administration was able to visit classrooms, and I did not receive a call at the District office.

These dedicated professionals contribute to a holistic approach to student success through partnerships with administrators, teachers, and families. This discussion explores classified staff members’ pivotal role in fostering collaboration and partnerships within the educational ecosystem.

Collaboration is the cornerstone of a thriving school community, and classified staff members are integral to building these partnerships.

The classified staff-teacher-administrator triad is a powerful force that shapes the educational landscape. Working seamlessly together, they create an environment that nurtures student growth. Classified staff members provide support that enables teachers to focus on instruction and administrators to focus on strategic planning. Their contributions allow educators to dedicate more time to teaching and learning, from managing logistics to ensuring a safe and clean environment.

Collaboration extends beyond school walls to include families and caregivers. Classified staff members are pivotal in fostering connections between schools and families. Their interactions with parents during school events, meetings, and communications provide a bridge that enhances family engagement. By involving families in the educational journey, they create a cohesive network of support that positively impacts student achievement.

Collaborative efforts among classified staff members and other stakeholders lead to a holistic approach to student success.

Every student is unique, with their strengths and challenges. Collaborative partnerships allow classified staff members to contribute their expertise in addressing diverse student needs. Working closely with teachers ensures that interventions, accommodations, and support services are tailored to each student’s requirements.

The success of any educational institution depends on shared goals and a unified vision. Classified staff members, by aligning their efforts with the broader objectives of the school district, contribute to a cohesive educational ecosystem. Their support enhances the overall effectiveness of the school’s mission, leading to improved student outcomes.

Education is a tapestry woven from the threads of collaboration, partnership, and dedication. Classified staff members are the threads that connect administrators, teachers, families, and students in a shared endeavor to foster growth and success. Their collaborative efforts provide vital support that enables educators to focus on teaching and empowers families to engage actively in their children’s education.

As we celebrate the accomplishments of students and educators, let’s also acknowledge the indispensable role of classified staff members in creating a united and thriving educational community. They cultivate an environment where students can flourish and reach their full potential by working together.


Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own and do not represent those of my employer or any local, state, or federal government.

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    About the author

    I'm Kim, your Educational Leadership Guide. I equip educational leaders with research-based and experientially learned educational leadership principles and best practices to promote student success.