By Stephen Allen
Teachers are helpers of students. As an administrator, you should be the lead helper of helpers. Consider the following checklist to improve your ability to assist teachers and staff members in reaching their goals.
- I know my teachers and their goals. What are they? How will you collect this information in a non-threatening way? Without this information, how will you help them?
- I teach and model the principle of stewardship. No matter their goals, taking care of today’s teachers and improving them in their current position is critical. Do you personally live this principle?
- I model lifelong learning. Have you shared your latest great book, demonstrated a new learning or teaching technique, and projected an attitude of trying innovative and creative approaches to age-old tasks?
- I encourage employees to take risks. Help teachers attempt new approaches to their duties by rewarding, recognizing, and applauding innovation—even when it does not fully succeed. You should expect some levels of failure as part of the job.
- I get teachers what they need to succeed. Workers in all trades and practices need tools to succeed. Operate behind the scenes to develop the necessary working conditions including facilities, instructional equipment, and an effective work environment.
- I create a collegial environment so that teachers help one another succeed. You should not be the only encourager and assistant.
- I am open to criticism—my own and others’. If you are going to give criticism, be ready to receive it.
- I bring balance and wisdom to teachers. You may need to moderate teacher frustration by helping them take steps more quickly or by adjusting goals that need more time for fulfillment.
Your example may give teachers the vision for how they help students.
This article originally appeared in an issue of our monthly publication NorthStar for Principals.