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KEEP THE BEST TEACHERS AND SCHOOL LEADERS FOR BETTER QUALITY OF EDUCATION

02/17/2011

Qualified Teachers and school leaders are the key aspect to attain good quality in Educational Institutional. Teachers are the key ingredient of quality. Joseph Destefano, the author of Find, Deploy, Support and keep the best teachers and school leaders, said that ‘children with less qualified, less able teachers fare worse in schools. Their learning gains are smaller compared to students with higher quality teachers…their ultimate success or failure in school is determined by the sequence of teachers whom they are assigned. The second factors which make the school excel is the Principals – the front line managers.” (Destefano: 2002).However, it is still problematic for educational institution because retaining good teachers and good school leaders need a serious effort and support from the Human Resource Management so that qualified teachers and good school leaders would stay in the educational Institution.

Some researches have been done on the field of Human resources development and it was founded that the role of leaders is central in retaining the teachers. Besides, teachers also have intrinsic motivation as well as extrinsic motivation to stay in their profession. In other words, the Human Resources Management practices should focus on the people and valued people as the most important power in the organization (Destefano:2002).

This paper will present some important points of the research results: the role of Educational leaders in the teachers’ retention, Reasons of the teachers to stay in their profession, and some point of reflections of this topic.

The role of the Educational Leadership in the teacher retention.

The role of leadership in keeping the best teachers and employee in the school settings is very crucial. The future of the institution (the teachers, the students and other employee) is on the hand of the school leadership. Dona Chariton, in his paper Human Resource Management: Accountability, Reciprocity and the nexus between Employer and Employee, said:

“Effective leaders who create learning environments that embody these characteristics provide optimal work places for teachers. The portrait of effective leaders includes a dynamic persona who may inspire the purposeful work of others through artful performance. …Effective leaders view employees as resources and align them accordingly with objectives to find the best fit for success.” (Charlton, National Forum of Educational Administration and Supervision journal, 2010.)

From the quotation above, the role of leaders is primarily creating environment that makes all teachers and employees get optimal result in their work. Leaders should inspire the teachers and employees through their vision and mission as leaders and purposefully direct the teachers and employees toward the goal of the institution. Leaders facilitate each teachers and employee to work according to the objectives of the institutions.

Great leaders empower and create leaders within the teachers and employees, he encourage the teachers and the employee to believe in their power to do their work. Dr. Fenwick English called this kind of leadership as Servant Leadership. Servant leadership is about empowerment, it is about enabling people to become powerful, and finding leadership in them.

Dr. Sandra Harris identified six themes that categorized the success of the thirty-four award winning secondary principals:

Leadership with a mission. Effective leaders should articulate their vision and share the goals to the faculty and empower faculty to accomplish that goals. Good communication between the leaders and the teachers would strengthen the loyalty and commitment of the teachers to develop instructional strategies to achieve the goals.

Leadership that shapes Positive Campus Culture. Leaders should commit themselves to create positive atmosphere which allows all stakeholders participate actively in the schools. Positive culture is characterized by trust and dedication, focus on students learning, set high expectation, encourage relationship, encourage social skills and create optimal learning environment. (Harris, 2008).

Leadership for communication and collaboration. Good quality of communication between leaders and the teachers-employees would create good team work. It will reduce the misunderstanding in the institution and it also reduce the challenges arises in the institution.

Leadership for Curriculum and Instruction. Leaders should maintain close relationship with teachers and students. Leaders should empower teachers to make decision regarding the instructional intervention for the students. Appreciation to the success of the teachers and students should also be expressed explicitly through written recognitions.( Harris, 2008).

Leadership for school improvement. Leaders should demonstrate in any area of the learning community. Leaders should focus on the school improvement and focus on empowering people to lead in their own field, in developing program or intervention to create good climate at schools.

Leadership for personalizing the Learning Environment for All. Leaders should acknowledge the cultural diversity. Leaders should direct their attention to the students who has difficulties in learning because of cultural background and create equitable learning opportunities for all students.
Chariton quote Dr. Harris’ conclusion of his study on the principals that leadership with this ideas, “we, not me, “people, not programs”., Student’s not schools. He found that every principle attributed for the success of the team, recognize that program were effective because of the people who administered them; and understood that school was about students and their success.” (Chariton, in Harris, 2008).
In brief, the leadership focus is on people and how to help people developed them. The leaders’ focus on developing teachers and employees will result in their self-fulfillment which will retain them in their professions.

Other reasons of teacher retention.

Comfortable environment

There are several reasons why teacher stay in one school while the others are never satisfied. The comfortable environment in the workplace is one of the reasons that teachers often mentions as the primary factors to retain in their professions. Therefore “the work environment or job itself has to meet certain criteria on personal level for each individual teachers. The work must fulfill some need, aside from the financial. That each teacher uses to define her life’s purpose.”(Charlton, National Forum of Educational Administration and Supervision journal, 2010.)

Teacher – Student relationship – Self satisfaction on the student’s improvement

Many teachers remain in their profession because they get self-fulfillment when observing the students development. Teachers are being satisfied noticing that they can facilitate the students to learn and to develop their knowledge. “Many teachers also value the quality of teachers – student’s relationship and their commitment to the education of the students as the reason to stay in the classroom”. (Charlton, National Forum of Educational Administration and Supervision journal, 2010.).

Being part of the community or institution

Teachers and employees will feel be part of the community when they are welcomed by the community. Shyu (2007) as quoted by Charlton, said “ The reality of why teachers stay is that they have found a school or community which has welcomed them, given them opportunities to grow, learn, and to use their talents to benefit those around them.” From these sentences, we could learn that teachers and employee would stay in the institution if they are given space in the community to express themselves as part of the community and being meaningful to the community. Therefore it is important for the leaders to place them in the right place according to their talents and let them be productive for the community there.

My reflections on this topic

What can I learn from this topic? Some points come into my mind while I am summarizing these readings. First, there is a big responsibilities as educational leaders to focus our attention on the development of the teachers/employee and the success of the students. Second, put the teachers and students at the center of the leadership practice. Third, continues support, example, passion and commitment from the leaders should be given to teachers/employee to pump their motivation and commitment.
Big responsibilityy to focus leadership on teachers and students

These readings challenge me as educational leaders to shift my attention to the people in the institution. The professional and social development of the teachers should receive enough portions so that teachers could implement the vision and mission of the schools well. For example we can send them to different kinds of seminars and training to develop their capacity in delivering knowledge to the students. As leaders, I need to motivate teachers to focus on the students success. Teachers commitment to the development of the students should always be encouraged. Sometimes teachers need to receive greater responsibility to strengthen their commitment and passion. Bergdahl, M (2006) said, commitment and passion are two of the most important ingredients necessary for anyone striving to achieve success. Help the teacher to define clear vision and goals in their work. Leaders should also show commitment and passion in assisting teachers and students to reach their success in life.

Place teachers and student’s at the center of the leadership service

Leaders should place teachers and students at the center of their services. Our leadership is not mainly about the institution. The core of our attention in our leadership is the people. Educational leadership is not about the school, it is about the teachers’ development and the student’s development. Therefore, the life of the teachers and the students should be the priority in the school. It means that everthing we formulate in the vision and mission, and the objectives of the school should be directed to the development of the teachers and the students.

Continues commitment and support from the leaders

Continues commitment and support to the teachers and student should be expressed clearly to to them. The concrete example from the leaders in developing the knowledge and skills will motivate teachers and students. I think it is important for leaders to always communicate their vision and mission to the teachers and students so that they also have commitment and passion to make concrete the goals. Invite the teacher and students to own the vision and mission of the schools and encourage them to live it in the daily practices.

Sources
1. Bergdahl, M. (2002). The 10 Rules of Sam Walton: Success Secret for Remarkable Results. Commit to Achieving Success and always be Passionate. John Wiley and Sons. Inc.
2. Charlton, D and Kritsonis, W. (2009). Human Resouce Management: Accountability, Reciprocity, and the Nexus between the Employer and Employee. National Forum of Educational Administration and Supervision Journal.
3. Destefano, J. (2002). Find, Deploy, Support, and Keep the Best Teachers and School Leaders. Brown University. Annenberg Institute for School Reform.

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