Having working relationships through effective communication
Nergiz’s strong communication skills assisted her in establishing a rapport with students, colleagues, administrators, and parents. She refined her relationships through her non-judgmental stance and problem-solving skills. She believed in the positive consequences of cooperative relationships between administration and teachers. Her faith in transparent communication enabled her to resist against a possible practice of inequality the administration wanted her to partake in. When the administrator is considered superior to teachers in the school hierarchy, teachers might be expected to follow every instruction an administrator gives. However, when Nergiz found the administrator’s order unfair, she could not remain silent and spoke out, basing her action on the benefits of direct communication:
If teachers and administrators try to understand each other without judging, they can solve problems. For instance, I was going to take my students on a field trip. My administrator told me that I needed to collect school security fees unrelated to the trip if I wanted to take the students. Right at that moment, I showed my reaction. Instead of gossiping about him, I directly said what I wanted to him.
She believed that having a non-judgmcntal attitude was the key to her successfill communication with the parents: “I don’t judge their beliefs or appearances.” She appreciated frankness and mutual respect. Therefore, parents frequently consulted her about their children’s problems. For instance, she referred to one student and his parent from the middle school where she worked previously. Her openness to communication further supported her transformative teacher identity since one student could continue to study thanks to her efforts:
I visit parents or they reach me.... One of my students dropped out of school. One day, his mother called me and told that the boy was working in the graveyard. I went to the graveyard for that student and tried to persuade him to come back to school. And he did come. I believed that I touched his life. He didn’t forget me. Two years after his graduation, he sent me a present.