Why is ongoing professional development necessary? I have taught for a million years, I know it all!
As directors or supervisors we have probably heard this mantra several times throughout our career. Some teachers do not understand that refreshing professional development and learning new strategies is important for the educational setting. By having yearly requirements for ongoing education, teachers will hone their current skills and find new information to add to their strategies. While they may be teaching in the same manner they taught over the last dozen years, the industry has changed to include more technology, concepts, and topics. It is necessary for teachers to provide a good, well-balanced education for all students and good, solid professional development is one means of doing so. If the curriculum remains the same, year after year, the topics and information gets stagnant. The children are not provided with new, fun and interactive means of learning and this can quickly lead to boredom. Of course, all teachers understand that boredom in the classroom displays itself as poor behavior choices, poor grades, a lack of self-esteem and motivation. In short, a teacher can loose a classroom very quickly if the content is not geared for their minds and expectations. To combat this feeling within the teaching population, the supervisor must present professional development as something that is welcomed, exciting, and will make a teacher's job easily and more fun. The teachers must be engaged in learning and understand the personal benefit before they can take ownership of their own learning. Using humor in professional development or, at least, a sense of camaraderie will also help teachers see the necessity of ongoing professional development.
What can I do if my co-teacher is not helping in the classroom?
As all teachers know, it is imperative for all adults within a classroom to cooperate and work for the common good of all children. When one teacher is not providing support to other adults in the classroom, the children's education and emotional well-being suffers. The children can easily feel the air of malcontent and react accordingly. Poor behavior choices escalate and, even naptime can be affected. Therefore, it is necessary to have a classroom meeting of all teachers to set guidelines and areas of responsibilities. At times it may be necessary to include a director or supervisor in this meeting to provide a stabilizing force. At other times, the classroom teachers can discuss the situation and their feelings of frustration or inadequacy and find an equitable solution. Dialogue is an important factor in any relationship and especially one that has an impact on those in your classroom.
Explain the most important aspect of being a manager or supervisor and how this translates in the everyday workplace.
The most important aspect of being a manager or supervisor is to be open to different opinions. This aspect also covers the ability to lesson effectively and in an non-judgmental manner. As a manager there are many times, usually on a daily basis, that a company policy or a newly implemented decision will be questioned. At these times it is important for one to be able to listen to the worker with an open mind and the ability to see the situation from their perspective. After listening and uses questions in a non combative manner, one can usually assess the reasons behind the feelings or frustrations of the worker. The next step is to provide the worker the ability to see the big picture that affects the entire company and not just his small corner. It is very important to be able to do this while leaving his self-esteem and validation as a worker intact. The worker must be able to understand that his opinions are important to everyone that is in management. In addition, it is important to provide this employee with the opportunity to attend a division meeting or provide further information concerning his idea or concern. After taking his perspective and concern into authentic consideration, it is the supervisors responsibility to provide feedback or proceed to take this issue to a higher level within the company. By having employees who feel valued and who can freely communicate with their supervisor, the work atmosphere can be changed from a "us" vs "them" situation to one of working together to create the best workplace possible.