“The use of technology in staff meetings and other gatherings of adults automatically seems to be viewed as a negative. When e-mail and other "distractions" are available, won't staff members, like kids, be distracted by default?”
One of the complaints I’ve had about faculty meetings are the way we are treated like children.
On the first day of teacher in-service, we sit all day in the library where the administrators read the teacher manual to us one page at a time. I’m told this is done for legal reasons so that if a teacher is fired, they can’t say they didn’t know the rules. Don’t we do the same thing with class rules and our students? We are adults and have the adults read the manual and sign something stating that they read it instead of wasting a full day reading it to us!
We were not allowed to leave during our planning period because we might not be back on time or might be doing things not associated with our job. Yet, why does the school not mind when I’m using my own time to call parents and grade papers? And if we aren’t back in time for our responsibilities, then treat it as such and deal with us as employees and not children.
During professional development, make the information relevant to what we need to know. Set an example for how we should be teaching our students. Isn’t that what leadership is all about? I have attended too many professional development sessions that didn’t even pertain to my subject area or age level. What a waste of time!
Ask teachers for their input and really listen to what they are saying. Have teachers brainstorm their major issues and then let them get into groups to discuss the issues. If there is a problem, have them come up with a problem statement and also come up with at least 3 possible solutions. Then bring the total group back together and have each group give their presentation. I’m not saying that an administrator has to follow any solution but I think they owe it to the teachers to listen. Maybe an administrator hasn’t realized that there was a problem and may even have a simple solution for the problem.
I believe that communication is the key. This is important to teachers just as much as students. Teachers are expected to behave like role models for the students but aren’t treated in such a way that allows them to act this way. If administrators treated teachers like adult employees instead of students, maybe we would see more positive changes.
How are you treated at school? What makes you feel this way? Please share.