What Educators Wish Principals Knew
Great education institutions require competent, passionate educators as well as excellent leadership from the principal. However, there often arises a lack of understanding between the two parties. These hitches may hinder productivity and fruitful discussions. Following are some thoughts from teachers and principals that can help create a better school environment.
Here Are the Things Teachers Wish You Knew
Teachers face multiple challenges while executing their roles. A teacher is expected to teach relevant lessons, assess the students and give feedback, keep in touch with the parents, work with other colleagues, cater to the needs of struggling students, maintain student discipline, among many others. And all these responsibilities are to be handled within a limited time frame. So, most teachers can easily get overwhelmed when they are charged with additional administrative tasks or unplanned meetings.
Teachers need to know that you have their best interests in mind and will do what it takes to cater to them. Strive to create meaningful change for your teachers that cuts across the board. Get to know their specific needs and do what you can to address them; knowing that you have their backs is a huge motivator.
Create a professional relationship based on trust. Teachers want to know you to trust their ability to handle their mandate in a professional manner. Always convey your trust in them; this simple act can make a critical difference
Here’s What Principals Wish Teachers Knew
Most principals don’t come to work thinking, “I wonder how much paperwork I can get these teachers doing this week.” Understand that many of the impromptu developments in the school are mandated by the state, and the principal has no choice but to oblige.
The principal makes administrative decisions and handles issues for students, teachers, and other staff; all combined is no easy feat. Often, their decisions are made with the collective in mind rather than for the individual student or teacher.
The majority of the decisions made by a principal are guided by data. Students’ grades, standardized test scores, discipline referrals, district assessments all impact the decisions being made. Most times, there isn’t room to be flexible.
Your principal is probably working hard all year round to make improvements within the school. Introducing new programs creating and implementing new policies are part of their responsibility. While not all of them work, they keep making efforts to improve the welfare of students and educators.
Here are some pointers to improve communication:
- Both teachers and principals should embrace open communication to foster a seamless working environment.
- Frequently communicate what is going on around the school, especially the fun stuff, through a blog or some publication.
- Be honest with the stakeholders when communicating changes to come.
- Principals should create time to interact with different groups of teachers daily to foster a collaborative environment,
Always remember that both teachers and principals are working towards the students’ success. That said, open communication channels and overall empathy can do wonders for the working environment.