Updated: Dec 15, 2020
Real Problem Faced By School Leader
How can a school ensure higher retention of its academic staff? What are the steps you follow to ensure that good teachers continue with your school?
To post your problem/issue/concern click bit.ly/MyProb
Suggested Solutions to Real Problems Faced by School Leaders
The teachers should be able to trust the leadership for an equal opportunity, i.e. no favouritism
The leader should communicate frequently and effectively with staff members
Transparency should be imbibed in the working culture of the organisation with a proper reward system for good work
Empathy towards the workforce
Pay the salary which was promised
Allot them their subject of expertise to teach
Apart from these, there are factors like having a happiness quotient and overlooking minor errors in their work. Retention is highly dependable on the school leader's negotiation skills..
A conducive working atmosphere
Endorsement of their honest efforts
Space for their professional growth
A leader should not expect teachers to be working 24x7 for the school
Appreciate them publicly and criticise only in-person
Engaging them in the decision-making process of the school ignites ownership.
Empowering them through a healthy culture in the school
Good HR policies.
Good remuneration with annual increments.
Believing in them by allowing them to learn from their mistakes
If educators are a part of decision-making, they demonstrate ownership of their classes.
Be sympathetic to their issues.
Three A's: Authority, Autonomy and Accountability.
Respecting them by listening to their problems and suggestions carefully
Giving them credit for the success of the school as they make your ideas and policies successful
Salary as per government norms or more
Conducive work environment
Opportunities for growth and learning
Educational Interaction and discourse in HODs presence
Freedom to make decisions and honouring their decisions
The leader should act as a counsellor to teachers
Be conscious of their dignity and self-esteem
Teachers should have the freedom to innovate.
Compassion, empathy, positive atmosphere and team spirit where teachers are not just followers of a leader. They should have a role in designing a curriculum and in decision making. They need to feel that they are valued. If the approach of any criticism is for improvements, any employee would stay. Money matters but it can be replaced by the warmth of the workplace.
The personal touch of leading by the example can enhance commitment, sincerity and learning.
P S Kelkar
"People don't leave jobs; they leave toxic work cultures". A teacher should feel like a valued team member. They should not be criticised for lapses that may occur at public forums. The workspace should not have intrusion and encroachment. If more autonomy is given to the teachers, there is no reason that a school will have staff attrition. Of course, money does count! So salary as per government provisions is the least that can be done to ensure a happiness quotient amongst the staff.
Lead by example and serve as a mentor and a guide while monitoring the team
Treat teachers as team members and help them grow at a professional and personal level
Have well defined JDs and roadmap for growth that involves both CPD and various growth paths
Have transparency in the process and set agreed-upon accountability for all deliverables
Have a well-defined communication matrix for all communications
Develop systems and processes to cater to efficient and effective work mechanism
Build teams and enable them for effective display of empathy, time management, focused agenda for meetings and adequate PD for collective growth
Have regular staff meetings
For help with these appoint an HR.
Namrita K Rathee
The first and foremost thing is to realise that what a teacher wants (in order to stay on) might be vastly different from what the leadership/management thinks s/he wants. If we keep serving them the latter while they desire the former, we will have a problem. Hence, the 1st step is to institutionalise professional development & performance management - there should be a team which listens to what teachers really want. For doing the right thing, these are the main components:
Transparent processes & access to key data
Compassionate yet consistent procedures/rules and
Clear accountability & expectations
On the ground, a leader should:
Collaborate & setup clear goals & expectations for the entire year as well as for the next 3-5 years
Setup a milestone check (roadmap) & agree upon periodic checks on progress
Ensure that the organisation has a transparent remuneration matrix which allows a teacher to know why s/he is paid a particular salary
Have simple reward & recognition schemes (like a card of appreciation or organising a small poster with students sharing how much they valued a particular contribution, etc.) which are spread throughout the year
Have "rubrics" for awards & recognitions
Mobilise funds for growing teachers’ skills and capabilities
Collect feedback from students, peers, reporting heads as well as do self-evaluation
Maintain a growth (multi-dimension) chart for each employee
Identify & encourage avenues of contributing back to the world of education
People also leave a good environment if they feel that the organisational goals are limiting their professional growth and need for a challenging environment that provides opportunities for continuous learning. Any school management that places its’ self-interest above that of the very organisation they founded will continue to have a change of leadership and faculty.
Further, if the Head of School is not given autonomy and conflicting/poor advice from multiple sets of authorities in curricular matters, s/he will also face issues of poor staff morale and loyalty. I have realised pay parity with the best or at least minimum prescribed fails to be a motivator for retention, if not combined with mutual trust, respect, model leadership and freedom to innovate. Teachers are by and large empathetic to the needs of children, if motivated properly.
Attractive salary, timely incentives, regular appreciation and fair awards
Systematic work system with a proper hierarchical structure while giving direct access to the principal or director in the time of need
Regular vacations, picnics and retreat programmes for teachers
Availability of child-care centres for the staff in school premises
All kinds of financial securities like PF, Tax Guidance and help, Group Insurance, teachers’ society to provide financial help like loans during their personal problems
Encouragement for their personal growth. Allow them to conduct extra coaching classes in the school itself after school hours and provide them with incentives from the coaching fee
50% Fee scholarship for permanent/Confirmed teachers kids in our school
Trust, Love and respect teachers work.
About the Author
Dr. Atul Nischal is the Founder of the International Council for School Leadership (ICSL) and serves as the Program Director of ReSET, the 3 week online certificate program for educators.
ICSL is a not-for-profit organization on a mission to inspire, empower, and enable school leaders and educators. You can support us by becoming a member, participating in our programs (Friday@5, ReSET), and spreading the word amongst all educators in your network. Your support is very critical for our mission.