5 Ways Administrators Can Build Trust

One theme that has emerged from every educational leadership course I’ve taken is that trust between administration and staff is paramount. Without trust, educators can’t perform at their best. Fear stifles creativity and risk. Brené Brown said, “Trust is earned in the smallest moments. It is earned not through heroic deeds, or even highly visible actions, but through paying attention, listening, and gestures of genuine care and connection.” Here are 5 ways that school administrators can start building trust today.

Active Listening

So often in conversations we get defensive or want to give solutions. Instead, is we take pause and leave space, the other person is more likely to feel heard 

Meaningful Recognition

Taking time to notice something tangible or expressing gratitude for something specific- and doing it often! This also requires knowing what your staff values and what they’re working on. Then, reward accordingly. The most effective way? Give teachers back their time. 

Classroom Support

Teachers simply need you to be there. We’re tasked with teaching many, which is often interrupted by the few. Some days, they just need a break. This isn’t a time for questions or strategy discussions- it’s simply support. 


Decisions that impact teachers should be made with teacher involvement and voice. It’s okay to make the final decision as long as your staff has had the opportunity to express their perspective and the reality of how changes are going to effect them in the classroom. 

All the Small Things

Remembering it’s someone’s birthday. Checking up after they had to bring a parent to an appointment. Asking how someone’s doing after a sick day. Focusing on the human moments that happen every day in a human based profession will have a huge impact. 

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