Teaching involves imparting knowledge to learners for the purpose of understanding and application of knowledge, ideas, and processes. Successful teachers in the process of teaching meet the needs of their students, ensure they have worthwhile experience, and intervene so that specific things are assimilated and have relevant information for the future.
Effective administrators are mindful of the role teachers play in ensuring that their school or institution is highly regarded. They not only manage their teachers well but also offer support for their growth through training, workshops, and seminars.
It has been validated by research that a positive teacher-administrator relationship leads to a healthy school culturally, helps teachers be receptive to school policies and requests, and ultimately results in a better classroom experience. These relationships also elicit loyalty from teachers, especially in private schools, where staff turnover may be high.
Administrators can help teachers in the following 6 simple ways:
1.) Great leadership thrives on the use of feedback. As the principal decision maker of your school, feedback provided by teachers should be treated in a respectful, reflective and Non-Judgmental manner.
This will increase not only buy-in to the policies and initiatives of the school but also an ownership mentality amongst them. You can provide a suggestion box and make use of Google forms for polls in respect to gathering valuable opinions on yet to be taken decisions even when you have the final say.
Let their contributions be adequately recognized. Teachers are usually the first line of contact with students every day. Therefore, for creative ideas and brilliant resources, you can’t take them for granted.
2.) Ensure that key performance indicator procedures are meaningful-Teacher assessment now and again leads to differences between teachers and administrators. For the support of teachers, administrators giving significant, reasonable assessments is fundamental. Remember that a definitive objective of assessments is to assist teachers to maximize their overall performance invariably effectiveness.
To do this, you should give explicit, constructive criticism that guides teachers the correct way. When you see areas that need improvement, likewise, highlight positive behaviours or procedures you saw in the classroom. You might wish to utilize the “Sandwich Strategy” by beginning with positive input, giving your constructive criticism, and afterward finishing strong.
Answer questions and discuss your assessments with teachers. Give concrete suggestions for progress rather than general, pointless analysis. Utilizing these strategies, you can change assessments from a disputed matter to an important tool that assists your teachers with improving.
3.) Support your teachers’ decisions—Some parents have a habit of complaining about teachers’ grading or discipline decisions, and sadly, some administrators often side with such parents. This undermines the authority of the teacher in the classroom.
Of course, situations will arise when it’s absolutely clear that you can’t support a teacher’s decision. But in the event that school policy isn’t infringed upon and the decision is not morally or ethically wrong, by all means, back your teachers and show that you treasure their professional judgment and choices. Enthusiasm and willingness to work for you increases exponentially once teachers know you’re in their corner.
The result of a survey that asked teachers to rank 22 positive administrator behaviors in order of importance, the second most valued behavior was “Supports teachers in matters of student discipline.”
4.) Allow time and space for peer collaboration-Peer collaboration among teachers is extremely powerful because it strengthens teacher connections, allows teachers to share best practices, and allows new teachers to learn from more experienced teachers.
By and large, it’s particularly useful if teachers can have similar periods to plan with the people who teach the same subject or level. You would do well to establish a mentorship program through which newer teachers observe and study veteran teachers in the classroom. This is a worthy investment in the quality of instruction at your school.
5.) Be available and accessible – With an open-door policy that everyone knows about, administrators should not only be available, but also accessible or reachable. Leaving your door open at certain periods of the day ensures that this becomes effective. If teachers fail to maximize this policy, make it a point of duty to walk through the hallways or visit the teacher’s lounge.
Greet them by first name if possible, and ask about their challenges on the job and if they are in need of anything. By doing this, you are instituting a caring culture that encourages your staff to approach you when help is needed.
6.) Make employee well-being a priority – Although it may appear that we saved the best for last, employee well-being is critical and should not be overlooked. Know the state of your teachers by creating a forum for interaction on a regular basis specifically for issues related to their welfare. Remember, a happy team is a team that works.
Teachers are so critical to the success of students that it is estimated that, among other factors in school, they have 2-3 times the impact. This implies that to ensure the success of your school and teachers, you begin by supporting your teachers.
If you have been challenged by thoughts about how administrators can support teachers, the way out is to act on feedback, ensure that key performance indicator measurement procedures are meaningful, support the decisions of your teachers, provide time and opportunity for peer collaboration, be available and accessible, and make your staff welfare a priority.
Doing this will ensure you have a positive culture, minimal burnout, low turnover and outstanding achievements as a school.