1. Spend more time actually in the classroom
Much of the time administrators have not been in the classroom setting for years. Which is fine in some cases but can also put the admin. out of touch with up to date classroom practices in other cases. Some teachers suggest that admin. should spend 3–5 days each year as a sub inside the classroom. It is a nice way for admin. to remember what goes on with the day to day actions in a classroom.
2. Stop spending money on devices, curriculum, tech, etc. before actually consulting the staff
Treat your staff as the professionals and experts that they are. It is fine to ask them “Hey would this app be useful for your class?” before spending $10,000 on a year long subscription for the school. Believe it or not, many of your classroom teachers stay up to date on these things and have great insights. Reaching out to others before large purchases could save money in the long run! Also, don’t get upset with your staff after you heavily invested in software/curriculum/tech that has no relevant place for your school and they aren’t using it.
3. Be harsh(er) on teachers who are not doing their job well
This is a tough profession! It is not for everyone. That being said, teachers catch a lot of negativity from those few that are coasting along and not fully working to their potential. Can this be hard to admit? Yes, it is hard to say that there are teachers out there not doing there share as an educator but let’s hold them accountable. This point (and the next point) will make the job harder and sometimes uncomfortable for admin. but it is part of the job. I’m not saying you need to fire these educators but intervention plans do work!
4. Be consistent with logical consequences for students
We have all been there before. We have gone through all of the steps with a student, tried deescalation plans, tried accommodations, and worked our “teacher magic.” Then when we turn to admin. for consequences for this student they are let off the hook by the admin. This can leave teachers feeling hopeless and betrayed. I have always been a fan of Responsive Classroom approaches.
5. Help fund relevant PDs for your staff
Listen to your staff if you are having continuous complaints about PD being out of touch. Yes, PD sometimes dry. It does not have to always be dry though. Trust your staff’s opinion and insights on this as well. Maybe let them lead some PD sometimes.
Can you think of any main ideas or insights you wish your school admin. knew or did?