How Can Principals Encourage and Support Teachers?


How Can Principals Encourage and Support Teachers?

Do you know around 50 percent educators or teachers leave their profession in just five years of their career? Have you ever thought what is the reason behind this? I feel teaching is a very noble profession and in fact people really want to be a part of it, but why is there a decline in the number of professionals.

Initially, I assumed, pay scale is the main reason behind decline, but after doing research and discussing with group of people who were in this profession, I came to know about more genuine reasons; few are bad working condition, new guidelines each year on how and what to teach, lack of support and guidance from their admin or principal, regular test and assignments that does not actually caters the need and abilities of the students, etc.

Not sure about every reason but I feel that lack of encouragement and support to the teachers from their respective principals is the prime reason why people, especially young people are quitting this profession.

There is no doubt that teachers are the integral pillar of an educational institution; though we cannot ignore the role of principals. The 21st century has embraced role of school principals as educational leaders. Principal as an educational leader carries huge responsibility of the development of their education establishments as well as students studying in it.  In brief, they must actively be engaged with their teachers and help them in their day to day teaching.

Here are few ways an educational leader can help their teachers.

Observation

What is the conventional thought about a principal or a school head in the minds of teachers? If I am not wrong, then he is the one who escapes classrooms or does not give lecture, but performs actions from the office. However, if somebody is a true educational leader, he must be there, where the action is taking place or where the teachers are i.e. classroom. Only by observing teacher’s style and method of teaching, you will be able to judge their capability, knowledge and of course lacking points. Hence, you would be able to encourage, assist and support them in sharpening their teaching skills.

Visibility

Many principal feel that excess visibility in the classroom makes a teacher very friendly with them which makes it more difficult in implementing rules and instructions. However, contradicting this traditional belief; teachers enjoy having principals by their sides. It gives them a sense of security as they feel that someone is watching and guiding them in their work. Secondly, regular visibility gives the students a sense that the school leader is interested and involved in their learning.

Communication

Effective communication is the best way to encourage and support teachers. Principal must communicate her vision for the students well to each and every stakeholder. Host informal gathering time to time at your residence or restaurants, discuss how they handle student, talk to them about the upcoming activity or event, etc.  Meanwhile, ensure each and every staff is present in such gathering, in case; if anyone is unavailable ensure you communicate with them individually day after. Remember, communication is your responsibility not your staff.

Competition and Recognition

Hold completion time to time and recognize them for their extra efforts. Competitions like best classroom décor, best media usage in classroom, and recognizing best teacher of year motivates and always inspires them to perform well.  In fact you must recognize teacher not just in school but also in front of student’s parents. Such kind of act for sure helps encourage them to a large extends.

Professional Development

Teachers's growth (learning) should be one of the duties of the institution and the principal/leader. Professional Development and training is the best way to enhance skills and to learn about the trends in the industry. Encourage your teachers to attend workshop or organize workshop to help them understand new curriculum and innovative means to teach students. They can even clear their doubts on how to teach effectively, how to make best use of technology in the classroom and much more. Such workshops enhance their confidence to a large extent, ultimately benefiting students and the institution as a whole.

A teacher’s greatest pride is to see his or her student doing well in study and achieving great heights in the career, and it can be only possible when they teach them effectively, and of course who more than an educational leader can help teachers to perform well. Therefore, to have a happy and healthy school environment, start encouraging, recognizing and supporting the right teaching talent.

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About the Author
Author: Prasanna Bharti
Prasanna is a blogger by profession, and loves to write about education technology. Her write-ups intend to provide a deep insight about enormous resources and ideas available to make learning better and effective with the use of technology.
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