Top 8 Qualities of a Great Leader of Teachers!
As an educator in higher education I've been very fortunate to work for two of the best supervisors at two of the best colleges to work for according to the Chronicle of Higher Education. Though the two institutions serve different populations and their content is delivered in different ways, my supervisors at both schools have many characteristics in common which lead to happy teachers who work for them.
Below is a list of the top 8 qualities shared by these fantastic leaders of teachers!
Communication is key in any work environment but essential in a college setting where instructors may not run into their supervisors on a daily basis. Both of my supervisors send regular emails which update faculty about changes in courses and upcoming events. One emails weekly with a summary of where we should be in the class, hints on how to run an activity, and suggestions for catching up if our class is falling behind. The other emails important dates and sends a copy of the most important messages to our personal emails just in case we haven't checked in with our school email.
Provides Timely Responses...
Both of my supervisors do an excellent job responding to questions and concerns in a timely fashion. This is so important when we need to act quickly to assist a student or prepare for an upcoming class!
Provides Ownership for Instruction...
Many of the classes I teach at both institutions are freshman level general education requirements that serve as pre requisites for upper level courses. This means there are a lot of students taking these courses and there needs to be consistency in each class. That said, both supervisors stress how important it is for instructors to take ownership of their classes. Instructors determine how grades are determined and what activities to complete in class in order to teach to our own strengths. This helps maintain excitement about teaching which translates into higher student engagement.
Both of my supervisors are supportive - I know they have my back! Whenever a student issue moves up the chain, both supervisors examine the documentation and calmly work things out with the student. When I make a mistake, which we all do, they are patient and understanding as we work to resolve the issue. This provides an environment where I feel comfortable asking for advice.
Leads by Example...
Both of my supervisors continue to teach some of the same courses I teach. They are familiar with the challenges of teaching the course and also provide examples of teaching strategies that work for them which can also be incorporated into our classes. One supervisor has shared language on her assignments which decreases the incidences of plagiarism and another provides tips on how to include quiet students in class discussions.
Establishes a Group of Colleagues...
Teaching can be a very isolating career! It's so easy to come into work, teach a class and then go home without speaking to another adult! Both supervisors have provided opportunities for instructors to get to know each other - one holds lunch meetings at the beginning and end of every semester while the other designates an online space for interaction. Having peers to share lesson plans and vent over student concerns makes the workplace a more welcoming environment and our students benefit from these relationships.
Both supervisors seek input from teachers when making decisions about curriculum and how it will be presented. Not only are we invested in changes but it lets us know we are valued.
Provides Transparency ...
When changes need to be made at the school both supervisors are good about sharing what's going to happen and why, as well as their role and our role in the process. Change is hard but knowing the reasons behind changes helps us to do our part.
Thanks to #EduBlogsClub for this week's blog prompt!
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