Showing posts with label turnover. Show all posts
Showing posts with label turnover. Show all posts

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Teacher turnover, teamwork and classes for 2009

The generation of school spirit comes from the school, focuses through teachers and into students. Harmony between teachers is a key component to the generation of that aura of success in a school.

Part of this is ensuring that there is balance between the needs of students and the needs of teachers. At this time of year tension arises between staff regarding the classes teachers would like to teach to further their careers and what is in the best interests of students. What is in the best interest of students is not always the best option. This takes some courage to say, as it has always been my position that students come first - but I think it is naive to think this is always the case.

In the real world, knowledge management issues of a revolving staff are well documented. When staff leave it does not only cost in terms of vetting and rehiring staff but also in the content knowledge loss, training investment and organisational understanding that is only gained through experience with customers.

Teaching is no different. Reduce turnover and the school benefits. An organisation that considers the needs of staff to progress successfully in their careers is an organisation that cares for its staff. To do this staff members needs to have their progress clearly illustrated and documented.

In mathematics, this means careful consideration of the new level 3 MAT and MAS courses. If there are a number of teachers vying for these classes it may be a number of years before teachers are given access to them. Being offered these classes (or knowing that a course has your name on it two years hence) can be a clear motivating factor in staying with the school and fully embracing PD opportunities until that time.

Conversely not being offered these courses or seeing the courses offered to those 'less worthy' can be a demotivational factor. Similarly being continuously asked to take lower school or low ability senior school classes can be disheartening for those seeking to enhance their skill base or for those seeking rapid promotion.

This ties very close to timetabling as many promotional opportunities rely on staff having access to senior school classes. Timetabling can often make or break the way a teacher sees their classes. Teaching out of area, sharing classes with other teachers, large class sizes, behaviourally 'difficult' classes can all be contributors to negative staff morale.

For a maths team to be successful they have to work as a team, support each other and find new and innovative solutions to student behavioural, content delivery and motivational issues. When class distribution for the following year is being considered, it means that careful thought has to be made as to what will satisfy the majority of the team, motivate members and ultimately prevent turnover.