1...knows what to do. “Wherever you want to go, you have no choice but to start from where you are.” (Karl Popper) “Develop well-written job descriptions to tell an employee where their job fits within the overall department and the overall company. Develop well-written job descriptions to help employees from other departments, who must work with the person hired, understand the boundaries of the person's responsibilities. Finally, develop job descriptions as an integral piece of the performance development planning process.” (Susan M. Heathfield)
Task! Think of teachers who work with you. List 5 things your teacher is supposed to do when they’re in their workplace. Are they being supervised? How? Does the school provide any sort of training? If so, how is it like and how often? How can you help your teachers be aware of everyone’s responsibilities ?
2...finds technical support in the work environment. “While technology is not a panacea for all educational ills, today’s technologies are essential tools of the teaching trade. To use these tools well, teachers need visions of the technologies' potential, opportunities to apply them, training and just-in-time support, and time to experiment. Only then can teachers be informed and fearless in their use of new technologies.” OTA (Office of Telecommunications and information Applications) (1995). Teachers and Technology: Making the Connection (p.1) Never trust anything that can think for itself if you can't see where it keeps its brain.” (J.K. Rowling)
Task! Think of your teachers and describe the teacher’s room of their dreams. How close is it to their reality? Now, describe the classroom of their dreams. How close is it to reality in your school?
3… has the opportunity to do what he does best on a daily basis. “We teach what we are” (Postman and Weingartner, authors) “Teachers, are more than mere bundles of knowledge, skill and technique. There is more to developing a teacher than learning new skills and behaviors. (...) You cannot change the teacher in fundamental ways, without changing the person the teacher is, either. This means that meaningful or lasting change will almost inevitably be slow. Human growth is not rhubarb. It can be nurtured and encouraged but it cannot be forced. Teachers become the teachers they are not just out of habit. Teaching is bound up with their lives, their biographies, with the kinds of people they have become. “ (Fullan and Hargreaves, authors, 1992)
Task! Think of a teacher who works with you. List 3 things he/she does best (inside or outside the classroom). How do you know that? Does he/she has the opportunity to put those 3 things in practice everyday? What can you do to provide him/her more room for showing those strengths on a daily basis?
4… is constantly recognized and praised by his accomplishments. “There's no praise to beat the sort you can put in your pocket.” (Moliere) “Employee recognition is not just a nice thing to do for people. Employee recognition is a communication tool that reinforces and rewards the most important outcomes people create for your business. When you recognize people effectively, you reinforce, with your chosen means of recognition, the actions and behaviors you most want to see people repeat. An effective employee recognition system is simple, immediate, and powerfully reinforcing.” (Susan M. Heathfield, HR specialist, 2000)
Task! Think of 5 teachers who work with you. List at least one thing these teachers could have been individually praised or recognized for in the past month (but weren’t). Why were they not praised or recognized? What could you have said and done to praise and recognize their work?
5… receives frequent feedback on his professional development. 5… receives frequent feedback on his professional development. “Champions know that success is inevitable; that there is no such thing as failure, only feedback. They know that the best way to forecast the future is to create it.” (Michael J. Gelb, personal development specialist) “We want to grow, evolve and be better tomorrow than we were today. In this context, the importance of productivity tools is evident. Training programs which give the professional conceptual and technical base, planning and control systems which allow standardization and performance measurement and finally, processes and methodology to measure results which make people search for performance improvement and generate, consequently, better results for the company. “ (Marcelo Borges, productivity consultant, 2008)
Task! Think of a teacher who works with you. How has this teacher’s performance been evaluated? Has he/she been informed of that development? How? How has this teacher’s performance and development influenced the results of the company? What can you do to let this teacher know about his performance and help him/her plan his future?
6...knows where to go. Continuous professional development (CPD) can be defined as the systematic maintenance and broadening of the knowledge, skills and personal qualities needed in working life. CPD can help: maintain and enhance one’s competence in your job stay competitive in the employment market demonstrate one’s commitment to future employers avoid stagnation and manage change by bringing a new and exciting intellectual challenge CPD is about planned learning and reflection in one’s career. It’s not simply an “add-on” to one’s job or something limited to a particular stage in the working life. It could include mentoring, attending conferences and seminars or planned reading. In fact, any activity which boosts your skills and employability – so long as it’s done in a systematic way. “Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far they can go.” (T.S. Eliot)
Task! What’s this product’s slogan? Think of your teachers and say how far they can go in your school. What is your role in their professional development?
7...a leader who cares about him as a person. “As well as being sensitive to the learning style of the teacher, the advisor must also be keenly aware of and sensitive to the personality of the teacher.” (Mick Randall, Barbara Thornton - Advising and supporting teachers) “To me, you are still nothing more than a little boy who is just like a hundred thousand other little boys. And I have no need of you. And you, on your part, have no need of me. To you, I am nothing more than a fox like a hundred thousand other foxes. But if you tame me, then we shall need each other. To me, you will be unique in all the world. To you, I shall be unique in all the world…” (Antoine de Saint-Exupèry)
Task! Think of two teachers and list: 2 things they do in their free time. 1 thing they really like. 1 thing they can’t put up with.
8… has a mentor who stimulates his performance. “Isolation mean two things. Whatever great things individual teachers do or could do, go unnoticed, and whatever bad things they do, go uncorrected.” (Fullan and Hargreaves, authors, 1992) “The more support a teacher has from an experienced mentor, the more organized, well planned and well prepared she will be. Mentors can provide new teachers with materials and ideas that improve lesson plans. They can also provide a wealth of knowledge to improve the preparation and implementation of those lesson plans through meetings and observations.” (Jennifer Wagaman, 2009)
Task! Think of your group of teachers. Is there a teacher or some teachers who play the role of mentor? How? Are you a mentor? What can you do to provide more room for the development of mentors among the teachers?
9...has his opinions taken into consideration. For the relationship to be fully collaborative, the advisor will need to listen to the concerns of the teacher and signal this to the teacher. Thus, listening skills will be approached from two perspectives; effective attending (relating to the way in which the advisor signals attention to the teacher) and active listening (relating to the metal processes and strategies being used by the advisor to listen not only to what is said but what is meant). “Man's inability to communicate is a result of his failure to listen effectively.” (Carl Rogers)
Task! Do you relate the comic strip above to your reality? How? What was the last time you asked for your teachers’ opinion and what did you do with that?
10… works for a school whose values and mission make his work feel worthwhile. “ Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare." (Japanese proverb) “For the vast majority of companies, having well-defined visions and mission statements changes nothing. The exercise of crafting them is a complete waste of time and talent if visions and mission statements are used for nothing but being published in the annual report and displayed in a reception area. One of the chief reasons for the failure of missions and visions to achieve the desired objective is the naiveté of most company managers and executives. Nothing happens by magic". To be able to energize employees to work towards corporate objectives, visions and missions should be more than a sign on the wall. Executives and managers should live them, be seen living them, and constantly communicate them to their employees.” (Vadim Kotelnikov, consultant)
Task! Think of your group of teachers. Do all of them share the school’s values and mission? How do the school’s values and mission make them feel worthwhile? Do you consider the school’s values and mission when hiring new teachers?
11… knows his coworkers are committed to doing quality work. “Employees mirror the work ethic they observe around them." ( Rodd Wagner and James K. Harter, authors, 2006 ) “Highly productive employees tell us there is a vast difference between being assigned to a team and actually identifying with that team. It's a common experience -- our manager assigns us to a workgroup and our name is added to the roster. Just because our name is added, however, doesn't mean that we psychologically join the team, especially if we are afraid the other members don't share our commitment to producing quality work. Helping all team members identify the characteristics that will result in a quality product can lead to greater efficiency and increased productivity.” ( Gallup Management Journal, 1999)
Task! Think of your group of teachers. Do they all share and practice the same idea of excellence? How do you know? What can you do to promote the spirit of teamwork at your school?
12... has friends at work. The nature of workplace relationships can significantly influence the extent to which you are able to develop yourself and to deal with change. The contribution you make to a school is measured in all kinds of intangible ways, and the fact that you form there have a significant effect on the level of job satisfaction you experience. Understanding how you relate to the other people who work within your school is one aspect of knowing where you are and of identifying your whole-person needs. "My best friend is the one who brings out the best in me." (Henry Ford)
Task! Think of the teachers who work with you. Do all of them have a friend in the workplace? What can you do to promote bonding among your teachers?
What about the $$? Be transparent about the salary criteria from day one! Meaningless money is not rewarding. A motivated worker is more satisfied with his salary than the ones who are not. Fairness is more important than amount.
We were inspired by... The Elements of Great Managing Rodd Wagner, and Ph.D. James K. Harter