Making a difference

I REFER to the report “What teachers want” (StarEdu, May 12).

In my opinion, the article emphasises the need to have strong mutual parental involvement in their children’s education, to encourage students to become responsible citizens, and to reduce teachers’ workload so they can focus on their students.

On the workload of teachers, Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik has done his best but unfortunately, there are many little Napoleons who are still making teachers do irrelevant tasks. We hope to see an end to this soon.

Any teacher will want to help their students learn and become successful. Each educator wants to make a difference for their students.

Many teachers and educators claim they feel their administrators are out of touch with the realities of classroom life, and make their lives more difficult rather than serving as inspiring leaders.

Of course, it’s not the case in every school or district. Many teachers expect their administrators to model the behaviours 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, work collaboratively to develop solutions, and create a positive atmosphere.

When educators are given their fair share of authorisation, which means the flexibility to assist the school’s goals and policies, they can exercise their skilled judgement. This relates to the way they manage classrooms.Nobody likes to be micromanaged. Teachers are professionals and make decisions on what’s best for their students and goals of the institutions.

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

Professional development opportunities are more meaningful to teachers by engaging them and allowing the exchange of ideas and encouraging discussion.

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

Teachers want to leave feeling inspired, and that they have spent their time wisely.

Teachers want administrators to understand the pressures they are under and the challenges they face in the classrooms each day.

When everybody works together and educators are given the voice they want, then their jobs can become more meaningful and fulfilling.


Kuala Lumpur

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