It is no secret that we are all lacking quality, creative teachers and sadly teachers have been leaving the field of education since the pandemic. Teaching is not for the faint of heart, and we forgot how to empower our teachers because we have been in survival mode.
Imagine this: a school buzzing with excitement, children eager to learn, and teachers who are energized, inspired, and rocking their classrooms like the educational superheroes they are. Sounds like an educator’s dream, right? Well, buckle up, because we’re about to dive into the world of empowering teachers, turning that dream into reality one playful step at a time. Get ready to unleash the full potential of your teaching staff, transforming them into the confident, creative dynamos they were always meant to be!
1. Nurture an Authentic Workplace
Creating an environment of trust and respect is key to empowering your teachers. Encourage open dialogue between yourself and your staff, and be sure to listen to their opinions and ideas. If your workplace isn’t built on a foundation of trust, your team won’t make it through healthy conflict to commitment and hold themselves and each other accountable. Authenticity fuels autonomy.
2. Mix It Up
Provide opportunities for professional development that allow teachers to explore new methods of teaching, such as magical teacher trainings, opportunities for healthy team competition, flipped classrooms or blended learning approaches. This will help them stay engaged with their work and keep up with the latest trends in education. We do something called mindshift swap, where the teachers switch classrooms for a day to get a different perspective and learn techniques from the other teachers. Being stuck in a rut is the highway to burnout.
3. Create Opportunities With Clear Expectations
Be sure that your expectations are clear when it comes to assigning tasks or projects. Provide guidance on how these tasks should be completed, but also give your teachers the freedom to experiment with different approaches so they can find what works best for them and their students. This is where checklists and scorecards are very important. The number one reason why staff leave their jobs is because of unmet expectations! Set the teachers up for success from the beginning with clear expectations, checklists and systems of accountability.
4. Honor Teacher Expertise
Your teachers have valuable knowledge and experience that can be used to benefit the school community as a whole. Show appreciation for their expertise by providing opportunities for them to share their insights with colleagues or lead professional development sessions. Allow the teachers to be part of the process of creating your checklists, to show them that you value their feedback. Highlight their expertise on social media and within your school community. Find out what their strengths are and give them opportunities to showcase their talents in extra ways outside of their normal job duties. One way to discover this is by having them fill out their zone of genius, this is when their skills, talents and strengths align and passion comes to life. “ People’s performance consists of a mixture of skills, strengths, and talents. Here’s how we define them:
- A strength is anything that gives you energy.
- A talent is an innate ability that can’t be taught (for example, being incredible with numbers).
- A skill is a competency that can be taught (for example, knowing Excel back to front).”
5. Give Teachers Autonomy
Allow your teachers some autonomy over how they teach by giving them the freedom to make decisions about curriculum, lesson plans, or other aspects of teaching without having to consult you first every time something needs changing or adjusting. This will help foster a sense of ownership over their work and make them feel more empowered in the classroom! The best teachers are the ones who teach from the heart, not a textbook, in order for teachers to blossom into seasoned professionals they need the freedom to fail forward, be creative and think on their feet. Micromanaging and too much paperwork takes away from their passion for teaching and sucks the life out of them. We want to be life and joy givers. Allowing them autonomy will lead to better student outcomes, teacher satisfaction, and a healthier work-life balance for everyone involved. It also allows teachers to develop their own style of teaching, which leads to more engaging lessons and learning experiences.
In conclusion, teachers should be empowered to work independently and make decisions that best fit their classrooms. This will allow them to unlock their full potential as educators and bring joy into the classroom, fostering a positive learning environment for every student which leads to magical futures for the children, the teachers and the leaders.
Don’t Miss this FREE TRAINING WORKSHOP on How to Plan a Magical Teacher In-Service coming up on June 7th!
- Elliott, L. (2020). The Zones: 4 Levels of Performance and How to Reach Your Peak Potential. Retrieved from https://www.thecoachweb.com/the-zones-4-levels-of-performance-and-how-to-reach-your-peak-potential/