12 Ways to Be the Education Leader Everyone Wants to Work For
Educational leadership can be extremely tough, even if you are overseeing passionate, responsible teachers. You try to be the best educational leader you can be, but sometimes it can still feel like you’re not doing enough. It can be easy to spread yourself too thin and forget what your teachers are going through every day in the classroom.
But, thinking from a teacher’s perspective, how are you perceived by others? Are you too harsh? Too lenient? Do you show enough appreciation to your staff? These are the questions that can haunt you, but the good news is that we have a list of the top 12 things that teachers want in an educational leader, so you don’t have to figure them out for yourself.
- Be understanding
Teachers want their leaders to be understanding of the struggles they face in the classroom on a daily basis. Even if you’ve been out of the classroom for fifteen years, do your best to remember what it was like to be in their shoes. This perspective will take you far with your staff.
- Be open to new ideas and suggestions
It seems the world is always changing these days, and the field of education is no different. Although change can sometimes be scary, make sure that you listen to your new teachers who may have fresh ideas. The strategies you used when you were in the classroom may not work in today’s educational climate. Be open to new suggestions.
- Always put the students first
Every decision you make should have the goal of increasing the educational welfare of the students. Teachers and students alike want you to keep this in mind. Make sure that the decisions you put forth are for the benefit of the students, and not to make your life easier.
- Show appreciation for your staff
Teachers will become resentful if they feel their efforts are not being appreciated. Even a simple, “Thank you for staying late last week” can make a teacher’s day.
- Bring out the best in your staff
Your goal should be to produce the best teachers so that the students reap the most benefits possible. To make sure you have a stellar educational team, be sure to encourage each teacher to do their best each day while providing both praise and constructive corrections when necessary.
- Give constructive criticism
Criticism should always be constructive. Having worked in education for so long, you may feel that some educational principles go without saying. But the brand-new teacher that was just hired may not know what is expected of her, so be sure to provide corrections that are aimed toward improvement.
- Be approachable
Being approachable is very important in the eyes of a teacher. If a teacher is struggling to handle his class, he should feel he is able to talk to you about this and seek advice. You wouldn’t want him to avoid telling you of his struggles in the classroom because he is afraid of being harshly judged by you.
- Give teachers the space to do what they do best
A teacher appreciates a good leader that is not constantly breathing down their neck, directing their every move. Provide guidance to your teachers but give them space to try out new techniques and do things with their own special flair.
- Lead by example with passion
You want your staff to be passionate about teaching. Humans learn by example, so if your teachers see that you are passionate about impacting the lives of students in a positive way, they will share this passion with you.
- Be fair and consistent
There may be an amazing teacher that you oversee, but remember not to play favorites, just as teachers shouldn’t play favorites with their students. In all things, be fair and maintain consistency.
- Stay positive no matter what
Negativity feeds negativity, and positivity feeds positivity. In order for your staff to maintain a positive attitude, you yourself must maintain a positive attitude, even when the going gets tough.
- Raise up future educational leaders
Another reason not to micromanage your team is that you want your staff to rise to the occasion and become leaders themselves. They cannot, however, develop leadership skills if never given the chance.
If you are the kind of leader that everyone wants to work for, you will see your employees consistently doing their best to make you proud. All it takes is being intentional about how you interact with your staff. These small changes will make a world of difference.