In response to 'what teachers wants'... — Azizi Ahmad

MAY 13 — I am referring to the article “What teachers want” (May 12, 2019) and would like to add some of what I think “teachers and educators” want.

In my opinion, the article mentioned about the strong mutual parental involvement in their children’s education, students to strive harder to become good and responsible citizens and of course teachers are to do their jobs well by reducing the workload of teachers so that they can focus on students.

In view of the workload of teachers, Education Minister Maszlee Malik has done his best but unfortunately, there are many little Napoleons who are still making teachers do irrelevant tasks which hampered the right call and we hope to see an end to this soon.

Teachers will want to help their students learn, grow and develop their student’s lives to be successful. Each and every educator will have the passion for making differences in their students.

I doubt and don’t think most of the teachers would go into teaching just to show themselves as “meeting representatives of the institutions,” coordinators of endless initiatives (except for those who do not teach and have forgotten how to teach), love administrative burdens (like to be the heads of departments or units) and champions of “office politics.”

However, within the present day educational environment, there has been detachment between teachers and administrators that takes hold, causing disappointment, discontent, and burnout among indeed the foremost enthusiastic and committed educators.

Many teachers and educators claim that they feel their administrators are out of touch with the realities of classroom life, and most have become "snobbish" and making their lives more difficult rather than serving as inspiring leaders.

Of course it’s not the case in every school or district, but so many teachers are struggling with their administrators, especially during appraisal period.

Many teachers expect their administrators to model the behaviour that they expect from teachers and others within the school.

A headmaster, principal, or other leader is key to establishing the culture of the school, and teachers appreciate those leaders who adopt a “do as I do” approach to leadership, rather than a “do as I say” approach.

Leaders should demonstrate a willingness to listen and really learn about the issues that are affecting both teachers and students, working collaboratively to develop solutions, and creating a positive atmosphere. It reminds is of the term, "walk the talk."

When educators are given fair share of authorisation, which mean, the flexibility to assist the school’s goals and policies, and exercise their skilled judgement because it relates to what and the way to show and the way to manage classrooms, they have an inclination to own higher levels of morale and productivity.

Nobody likes to be micromanaged and stalled by the never ending policies; so do teachers. Teachers just want to be known as the professionals they are; given the chance to be “artistic,” risk taking, making decisions on what’s best for their students and goals of the institutions.

A cooperative atmosphere is verified to be additional substantiate of direction, and teachers wish the chance to figure collaboratively each with one another and with administration.

A seat at the table and the ability to be concerned within the choices that have an effect on their daily work will help too.

Effective and respectful administrators are protective of teachers’ time, only holding meetings when absolutely necessary and limiting the number of administrative tasks, such as discipline and school operations-related tasks, that they are asked to take on.

Yet all too often, teacher “professional development” is little more than that.

If possible, professional development opportunities are more meaningful to teachers by engaging them, allowing for the exchange of ideas, and encouraging discussion.

Teachers who do little more than stand in front of the class reading a PowerPoint presentation aren’t generally considered effective.

Teachers want to leave feeling inspired and like they spent their time wisely, so facilitate that as best you can.

These are but a few of the most common requests that teachers make of their administrators, at all grade levels.

Teachers want administrators to understand the pressures they are under and the challenges they face in the classroom each and every day and of course shifting away the group of “little Napoleons.”

When everybody works along toward that mutual affection, and educators are given the voice they want and be than everyone’s jobs can become a lot of meaningful and fulfilling, not to mention simply a touch bit easier.

* Azizi Ahmad is a senior educator.

** This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of Malay Mail.

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