If someone walked up to you asking about a teacher in your school, can you confidently say 5 things about him or her?
What many school owners do not know is that for a school business to function efficiently, you need to know your employees well. Most employer-employee relationships end outside the walls of the school, and the major reason for this is to avoid familiarity. However, you would be surprised to know that regardless of the friendly relationship between some staff and their employers, the respect due to the employers is still always accorded.
Most school owners do not take out time to get to know their employees well enough. For some, it's only what the employees have written on their CVs that they know about them. The greatest asset any organisation can have is its human resources, and the best way to maximize them is to know how best to manage them, and this is mostly done by building a relationship with them, either directly or indirectly. In many organisations, managers have one-on-ones with their employees. It might be a bit unrealistic for you as a school owner to have such with every staff, but there are ways around it. In this article, I have prepared 5 ways you can get to know who your teachers really are:
- Carry out a background check on your employees: It’s no news that CVs are not great determinants of personalities, this is the reason why many employers go as far as doing background checks on their employees. Cases of assaults, verbal and physical abuse on children, many times result from poor background checks on teachers. Background checks don’t have to involve so much resources, neither does it have to be overbearing or have heavy financial implications. Thanks to digital technology, You can check your employees on their social media handles through facebook, instagram, twitter, etc. to know what their personal life is like. Another way would be to hire a good human resource officer, and have a good recruitment process, so it helps you see a lot of red flags before you go ahead with hiring.
- Create room for friendship: As a school owner, you can have an open-door policy, and let your employers know about it. An open-door policy is one that allows employees walk up to you, no matter their level, and speak about their concerns if they have any. You can also take out time, every once in a while to sit in the staff or lunch room and have some chats with them. You can create team bonding activities with your staff and participate in them too. These are some of the easiest ways to build friendship with your employees.
- Allow them to speak: The issue with most school owners is that they do not create rooms for their staff to express themselves, even during PTA meetings. Allowing your employees to speak during meetings and even during one-on-one conversations creates an avenue for you to hear them out. As a school owner, you should allow your staff share their thoughts, ideas, and concerns when it comes to matters regarding the school. This way, you get to know how they think, and this makes them feel relaxed and involved in decision making in the school.
- Have your students write about them: One of the easiest and most effective ways to get to know your teachers is by asking students to write about them. You may not know this, but students know more about the teachers than you do as a school owner. This is because they spend more time with them than you do. You can have students write on their best teacher on teacher's day or every month. This way, you get to know the personalities of these teachers, and you can also use this to determine how you appreciate your teachers often.
- Indirect supervision: This can best be done through regular reviews by year tutors, heads of departments, considering the large size of staff that you may have. You can develop a system of regularly reviewing your teaching staff through their direct supervisors, while their direct supervisors report to higher level management.
CONCLUSION: One of the many ways to having a successful school business is having great staff to work with. You should be able to know your teachers very well before employing them and even while they work with you. Knowing more about your teachers will give you helpful insights to build the culture that is so important to your school's success.