For Justin Fong, the organization’s vice president of internal communications, those three words alone didn’t seem to match up to what he was seeing in the young, vibrant teachers Teach for America was recruiting. Not to say they weren’t smart or professional, but he didn’t think being serious all the time was a good fit.
“I wasn’t seeing a lot of evidence that it was a place where people could have fun,” he told an audience at Ragan Communications’ Role of Communications in Creating Best Places to Work conference in December.
With a monthly, live video broadcast called “The Blank Show,” Fong is doing what he can to liberate Teach for America’s teachers and 1,700 staff members spread in 43 regions across the United States so they can feel comfortable laughing at work.
“We’re in a very serious business,” he said. “It’s tough to do that kind of work, and be laughing and cheery around the office sometimes.”
While they get in a laugh or two, if those teachers and staffers learn a few things about how colleagues in other regions work through challenges, all the better.
Out with the old