There's a needed balance. Obviously it's important to build culture and relationships with all employees. I have seen the power in my classroom. In my mind I was thinking that having a prior friendship would allow us to jump start the year and bypass all the getting to know each other. That I have definitely been able to do, right to point where I need to have a hard conversation with a friend in day four. Right now I'm wishing that friendship wasn't so strong.
Plus here's my trade off. I want to approach the conversation as "let's talk about what's going on. Here's where we need to be. How can we get there?" My goal is to help the teacher improve. Yet so many conversations in the past that teachers have faced are not that way. They are gotchas, here's a punishment. So as a friend can I come in and reset the tone or will I be ignored because I don't have a threat behind me? I have never threatened a student so I have no intentions of starting by threatening a teacher. Maybe this will work. I can build on what I know about that teacher to have a conversation with them about what is going on. The concept of sitting down and talking with a superior about how to grow based on you and where you come from though is such a foreign concept. It shouldn't be, but so often the conversation is how we can make the teacher follow DISD requirements not help the teacher where they are. That's another blog entirely though.
In the real world (not education), yes I think you can have a relationship. In education it may be harder or easier, I'm not really sure but it is definitely different. The work we do is so personal and receiving feedback on it can be hard. It is hard to be open to and receptive to growth feedback, especially from a friend. This is not a blog where I have the answer yet (although I rarely never do). I am just curious, can I command respect as a boss from a friend? And if so how? Share with us your experiences and I'll keep you updated on mine.