Investing in professional development of teachers to improve school performance
One of the most important things any parent expects from a school is quality education imparted by talented teachers who care for their children’s future. One of the biggest challenges a school leader faces is to hire and retain academically qualified and well-performing teachers who improve results of the school. How can schools solve the problem of skilling and retaining good teachers
As school leaders, it is important to support teachers academically and professionally. Here are a few suggestions on how:
- Give effective and constructive feedback:
Chart out aspects of good teaching and give constructive feedback on each category when you observe classes. Some of the categories that can be focused on are subject knowledge, classroom management, parent management and student engagement.
- Invest in professional development opportunities for teachers:
Teachers mostly have a B.Ed. or M.Ed. in addition to a degree in their chosen subject, but many do not. Even with a professional degree, teachers are not up to date with the latest education trends and innovation in the field. This is because they are expected to be only educators and not continue to be educated themselves. The best way to allow for continuous re-skilling for teachers is to invest in certifications, seminars or training for teachers.
- Get experienced educators to conduct demo classes:
Teaching in a classroom requires many skills that are developed only by practice and get strengthened with experience. Skills like managing learning diversity, simplifying difficult concepts and maintaining student engagement are best learnt from the personal experiences of educators who have been in the classroom for many years. Peer learning can build the culture of mentorship and support in the teaching community.
- Reflective journals and sessions
Teacher can be asked to write short reflective notes about key teaching-learning experiences in the classroom and share highlights in weekly meetings. This helps teachers understand what works in a classroom, what does not and why.
- Build a culture of appreciation
Appreciate teachers for not just their achievements, but for their hardwork, patience and efforts too. When talking about classroom performance, begin and end a conversation on positive note, give clear feedback for improvement in a polite and clear message with examples for better understanding.