All Schools Leaders / Principal want their teachers to be the best in the industry and be great teachers. In all practical sense, not every teacher is a great teacher. It takes a lot of time and effort in developing a teacher. One of the major tasks of school authorities is to improve teacher quality. An able school leader has the ability to take any teacher to the next level with the right motivation and guidance. This process of teacher development takes time, patience and lot of hard work. Every teacher whichever level he or she is in has to move to the next level and that is progress.
Why the need to improve teacher quality? School leaders understand that if they improve teacher quality then the student quality shall also improve. Improved teachers will result in improved student performance and that in turn brings in good name for the school and overall enhancement of revenue and business. Continuous training and professional development of the teachers is a key factor for school success.
Among all the ways we can improve teacher quality, we will explore a few here:-
Teacher Evaluation – One of the primary tasks by the school leaders is evaluate the teachers to understand their level and wherein the development needs to plugged in. Teacher evaluation is the single most measure when it comes to improving teacher quality. This evaluation is to be done over a period when the teacher is observed keenly. Then a development plan is prepared focusing on working on their weakness and further polishing their strengths for optimum utilization of the same. This evaluation should only be done after a careful observation of the teacher at her job in the classroom.
Providing Constructive Feedback
Post the evaluation, the school leader can provide detailed suggestions to guide a teacher towards her/his improvement. The most important ones can be picked up from the list and the leader can focus on those first to develop. Once those areas have improved to the extent deemed effective, then the rest of the areas can come under focus. The improvement plan can be made both formal and informal and most importantly the teacher should be made able to see his own growth and development at the end of it.
Provide Professional Development
This is a very crucial step because the school leader must be able to identify the right professional development for the teacher. Engaging in professional development can lead to dynamic changes in a teacher and bring in the intended results. This can be the most motivating step for the teacher as he or she feels important and an important brick in the pillar of the school’s success. Continuous training and developmental programs are vital for motivating the teachers as the lacks and gaps need to be closed.
Provide the Right Resources
Teachers must be provided adequate resources and tools so as to enable them to do their job seamlessly. In the 21st century teachers must be taught to use the Internet and ICT as educational resources in the classroom. Unless the school leaders can support the teachers’ learning with the right resources in the classroom, it is pointless to send them for professional development. The right resources can also be a great source of motivation for the teachers.
Open channel of communication
The open door policy practiced by school leaders will encourage teachers to discuss concerns, share ideas and seek advice or suggestion at any given point in time. School leaders who want to establish trusting relationship with their teachers must be able to build up an open channel of communication. School leaders who do not do this cannot expect to see any growth and development in their teachers. Teachers feel motivated when the school leaders listen to them, give encouragement, provide suggestions and constructive criticism.
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