Schools in the Northern Hemisphere have recently begun a new academic year. Schools are welcoming students and families; administration teams are well prepared; curriculum programs are ready; resources are in order and social media is awash with exciting “snaps” of students’ first days.
Underlying the excitement of the start of the new year is the growing desperation as schools rally around to fulfil teaching vacancies.
With the increased scrutiny on school performance, teacher accountability is under the microscope. With teachers leaving the profession at alarming rates, measures to build teacher efficacy are needed.
While there are many reasons why teachers leave the profession, a better question could be “what keeps teachers in schools?” – research tells us there are two key factors:
- The quality of their colleagues, and
- The quality of the leadership within the school.
Leadership theories abound however, ultimately, I believe that being a leader is a social activity, guiding a team of people to achieve their best and in doing so deliver the vision of the school.
Linda Darling-Hammond published a book in 2003 titled ‘Keeping Good Teachers’. The key ingredients of the book suggests that reducing teacher attrition has to do a lot with how school principals lead their schools and how they deal with teachers based on their personal characteristics.
Leadership is all about building relationships. What’s your plan today?