"ARE YOU APPROACHABLE?"
CEO, JUDAH CHRISTIAN SCHOOL
It was a simple question thrown across the interview table. The simple reply "YES" came with a quizzical look. Intuitively, I knew his desired answer was "yes." I wondered in the realm of teaching how that answer could be anything but "yes" for a teacher. It SHOULD be "YES." Looking back at that question, I realize my surprise in its asking and assumption at an obvious answer caused me to not really expound upon myself or my thoughts about that question.
If I were interviewing myself, I would pose a follow-up question: "How do kids and parents know that you are approachable?"
After all, through the years with my own kids, I have heard many teachers assert that they are approachable when students feel they are not, supporting their defense with this comment: "Kids know they can come to my room and ask me a question any time they want."
To me both as a teacher and a parent, that comment does not project to many students the sense that a teacher is approachable. (I am not endearing myself to many teachers at this moment.)
I take my model from the source that models our behavior.
JESUS CAME TO SEEK AND SAVE. HE WALKED AMONG US AND CALLED TO US AND TALKED TO US.
He didn't wait for people to come to Him. He didn't shelter himself in a temple room waiting for people to seek answers from him. He walked among people, looked in their eyes and lives, and sought those He knew were troubled.
Approachable? It is an intentional move. It is extending your heart, your words, your eyes, your time, and your actions first. It requires walking among students and parents, creating intentional contact before they need it of you. And then, it is fostering that relationship.
And my examples of walking among students and parents are how I would answer my follow-up question: "How do you know that you are approachable?"