Staff people at Three Rivers Village School act as dependable stewards of the school; facilitate student access to resources; exemplify mature practice of personal fulfillment and societal engagement; and anchor school culture to values of interpersonal respect and trust in the natural impulse toward personal growth.
Being a successful staff person at TRVS requires an ability to honor the choices of others even when those choices are not those you would make, and an ability to trust in the school’s peer-based judicial system to adequately resolve rule infractions. Staff people at TRVS are available as facilitators and friends as students pursue their own interests.
Staff people are expected to:
- Be interested in getting to know and understanding students.
- Model being a good citizen. Notice what needs to be done around the school and then do it. Take on responsibilities and follow through on them. Jump into work head first. Be a model of commitment and responsibility.
- Actively take on projects that help the school, such as School Meeting clerkships, committees, and co-ops.
- Practice effective group collaboration skills including: active listening, question asking, self-awareness, sharing of information and resources, addressing conflict in a timely manner, and a willingness to engage in dialogue.
- Be familiar with and use the rule book; challenge rule-breaking behavior of students and staff and write it up if necessary.
- Be ready to explain how self-initiated learning works and why we believe in it. Be supportive of those who are learning how it works.
- Seek to deepen their own understanding of the school and its philosophy.
- Be able to manage their own work, including high levels of initiative and ability to authentically and effectively prioritize, including the ability to decline requests from children when appropriate.
- Be punctual and safety-conscious.
- Have a high level of writing, communication, and computer literacy skills.
- Read and respond to emails daily.
- Be available to help with PR efforts during and outside of school hours.
In all interactions with students, staff people are expected to:
- Treat students and adults alike with respect.
- Be helpful and supportive of students’ expressed interests.
- Consider whether situations genuinely require staff intervention. Benign neglect when possible encourages initiative and self-confidence.
- Adopt the approach that what students accomplish here is up to them.
- Adopt the approach that students should spend their time in ways that are satisfying to them.
- When appropriate, remind students that feeling bored, failing to understand something, getting frustrated, and even failure are all stages on the way to success.
- Distinguish between casual requests and heartfelt ones. Avoid finding something for students to do, or rushing in to help. Students dependent on adult attention need to wean themselves. If asked for assistance, encourage students to pin down exactly what they want. If they express interest in doing something, then just what do they mean? Express confidence in students’ ability to accomplish what they want to do.