How leaders can improve teacher quality

Rebecca Howitt  Rebecca Howitt
June 2022
School leaders aspire for all their teachers to be great teachers, but realise for this to be reality relies on their ability to nurture and develop a struggling teacher to become effective, an effective teacher to become good, and a good teacher to become great. By improving teacher quality will improve student learning outcomes and subsequently improve school success. To develop teachers isn’t instant and takes time, patience, and a lot of work.
Here are 5 ways that a school leader can help individual teachers grow and improve.

1. Meaningful Monitoring and constructive feedback

A school leader should routinely monitor to provide an overview of the quality of teaching. Time is precious, so the amount of monitoring of a specific teacher varies depending on their quality. Providing quality feedback is key with any effective monitoring. Celebrating the strengths and identifying the key areas for development to make a great teacher.. Feedback can be given both formally and informally and is not just limited to a monitoring activity as a school leader may see something that could improve the teacher on a quick informal drop in to the classroom. 
 


2. Relevant resources and Professional Development

A willingness to engage in quality, relevant professional development is essential to improving the quality of teaching,  Great teachers are able to adapt to the resources that are available, however effective teachers may find not having all the resources a barrier to student learning. School leaders should do everything they can to provide their teachers with the best quality resources and professional development to effectively carry out their role, but also there is an emphasis, on the teacher, to develop themselves and not totally rely on the school leadership.

3. Mentoring and Coaching

Great teachers are a valuable resource, not only to student outcomes, but also to an inexperienced or struggling teacher. Successful mentoring and coaching requires a culture of trust, encouragement and collaboration. Like minded teachers working regularly together can be a positive, learning venture for both the coach/ mentor and the mentee. The role of the school leaders is to have an understanding of the teacher to form effective links with other teachers.

4. Open Communication

All school leaders should have an open door policy where teachers feel comfortable in discussing concerns or to seek advice at any time. School leaders should want to create ongoing, professional dialogue  to build engaging and trusting relationships with their teachers. School leaders must be active listeners who offer encouragement, constructive criticism, and suggestions when appropriate. School leaders who do not have this sort of relationship with their teachers will not see improvement and growth.

5. Encourage Reflection

School leaders should encourage teachers to record their reflections as a tool to grow and improve. It is valuable to recognise strengths, successes, areas for development and the things that were not successful. Recording reflections can be a dynamic game-changer for teachers who genuinely want to improve by sparking insight and understanding. 



How can SchooliP support the improvement of teacher quality?

The tools of SchooliP are designed by educationalists and have proved to support and improve teacher quality e.g. 

1. Meaningful Monitoring and constructive feedback

a. Monitoring forms designed and created e.g. Lesson monitoring, Learning walks, Drop ins, Pupil interviews, Work scrutinies and Data analysis.  These are bespoke to match your school’s requirements.
b. Monitoring feedback to teachers recorded on forms
c. Areas for Development created and tracked
d. Comprehensive analysis and reporting on all monitoring activities from small groups to whole school



2. Relevant resources and Professional Development

a. Easy to use tools to record and request CPD
b. Comprehensive analysis and reporting for CPD leaders in order to provide relevant training triangulating SDP priorities, CPD requests, PM objectives and Areas for Development 

3. Mentoring and Coaching

a. Use of form creation; coaching forms, self-reflection forms
b. Adding a coach as a Collaborator
c. Coach/Coachee discussion/blog
d. Coach/Coachee online sharing of documentation
e. Areas for Development
f. Self-reflective and coaching video annotation tool
g. Catch-ups/Interim Reviews with coach



4. Open Communication

a. Line manager/coach/mentor regular professional dialogue using blog and interim review
b. Sharing of best practice



5. Encourage Reflection

a. Regular journal using the blog tool

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