The Importance of Strategic Attitude

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{taken from the book Before You Can Discipline}

A professional strategic attitude is of vital importance to a teacher’s success. It affects teacher efficiency with all students, including those who are discipline problems. It also offers continuous perspective in negative situations and, therefore, helps determine our happiness, satisfaction, and well-being. Our strategic attitude must include adopting a professional management stance. {Tweet this}

Many teachers do not regard themselves as management. Rather, they think only of administrators as management. Yet, it’s this precise thinking that may be the reason some teachers do not develop the correct strategic attitude and do not experience the level of success they should with discipline problems. That’s because the classroom teacher is management. Whenever you manage work, you are management. Whenever you manage the people who must do that work, you are management. Whenever you teach desirable attitudes, skills, and appropriate behavior to people, you are management. As classroom teachers, we do all three for students.


The Teacher as Management


To gain maximum satisfaction and productivity in the classroom, a teacher simply must think and function as management. Therefore, both our strategic attitudes and our skills in the management arena need continuous developing and perfecting. In truth, all the laws of management which govern school administrators and business executives also govern the classroom teacher. When it comes to managing the work, behavior, and achievements of students, these laws apply.

We may respond, “This is too much responsibility for any teacher to shoulder.” Yet, a close look will reveal that the laws of management are the reality for the teacher in the classroom, whether we like it or not. For example, anyone in a management position must accept total responsibility for everything that happens under his or her leadership—and for good reason. If students can’t read, do they get the blame? No, we do. If students are misbehaving or not taking the right courses to enter college or get a job, do people blame students? No, they blame us. This is the reason our strategic attitudes are so vital—to us as well as to students.

We, as classroom teachers, are management in every sense of the word. Therefore, all the management laws relative to leading people and accomplishing work are prerequisites for successful teaching. The teacher is more than a token manager. He or she is the chief executive officer in the classroom.


Summary


Management laws must be a part of our strategic attitudes. These laws are aids; they serve as constant guides for operating in the classroom. In the most difficult situations, they serve as guideposts for the teacher thinking and action which give the highest probability of success.

When we violate these laws, problems are inevitable. And often, the reason for our violation is that we are not even aware of them—much less ready to think in management terms. Once we adopt strategic management attitudes, however, we are positioned to manage. Equally important, thinking of ourselves as management gives us the control and flexibility we need to take positive and constructive action in every classroom and school situation—including discipline situations—every day of the year.


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How have you been a manager in your school? Tell us in the comment section below…

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