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Teachers are essential to helping us grow as a society. They teach the future generation and have a major impact on the lives of their students, especially as countless people say that they were inspired and encouraged by the teachers throughout their youth.
With that in mind, it makes sense for us to, as a society, strive to have the best teachers possible. In turn, schools, universities, tutoring businesses and other educational organisations are also chasing this goal. Much like any business, educational establishments are always chasing the best talent and want the best teachers in their school but sometimes, the answer isn’t to get new staff in, it’s simply to improve those you already have.
Here we are going to discuss what schools and educational organisations can do to help their teachers improve their performance and generate better results. Hopefully, leadership figures in education can leverage these strategies to improve the quality of learning they provide, helping us all in the future.
Becoming a teacher usually requires a degree in your subject or field of study alongside a year or more of teacher training. Teacher training tends to incorporate a combination of classroom management tactics, educational theory and hands-on experience, though, some people are naturally better at teaching than others. This is unavoidable but for educational organisations, those who struggle and have the biggest room for improvement are often the ones to focus on, as these teachers can quickly improve with small hints, tips and techniques.
The answer to securing this improvement is additional training. Training courses and training days can be organised for individuals or groups. They can be handled by external organisations or generated internally, with teachers training other teachers on the systems and approaches they use in their own classroom setting. This second option can also improve the workplace environment and atmosphere, further boosting performance.
Don’t be afraid to offer additional training to teachers who struggle – a single new strategy could be all they need to thrive and excel.
Promote Observation and Peer Review
Building upon the idea of encouraging teachers to work together, utilising observations and peer review can not only create a healthy working culture but improve teacher performance, too.
Whilst teacher observations are compulsory annually in schools, they can be incredibly effective if they are utilised more regularly. The most important point to remember is to break the association between observation and punishment. Many teachers view an observation as a threat to their approach; more of a test than a developmental process. In fact, observations should be used to deliver constructive criticism and encouragement, pushing the observed teacher to perform better without making them feel attacked.
If handled well, this type of peer review system can be invaluable.
Finally, staff development days and team building activities can be invaluable for developing team cohesion and improving the workplace environment. Just like any job, being a good educator is as much about how you feel about work as it is related to natural ability. Making sure teachers enjoy coming to work and have a good relationship with their co-workers is essential.
Staff development days are a great way of improving these co-worker relationships whilst also targeting and improving certain skills such as leadership, critical thinking and communication. There are plenty of staff development ideas for educators out there, it’s just a matter of selecting the best ones which work for your goals and educational setting.
These techniques can all have a major impact on teacher performance and satisfaction. With intelligent decision making, they can really make a difference. Hopefully, you will be able to utilize these strategies in your own educational setting and generate some results.