Empowered teachers will change the world...
You can feel the energy of the room as soon as you enter. You notice three things immediately: the environment is orderly. The children are absorbed and the teacher is bubbly. Your heart hops in your chest. You’ve entered the room of an empowered teacher. This is the place where authentic learning is taking place. You wish you could stay all day.
Teachers can’t anticipate their school chairperson to give empowerment to them. It is not a gift that reaches in a box. Being empowered in our classrooms is the same as being empowered in our lives. It is a decision we should make for ourselves. If we want it, we can have it, but it requires action on the part of the teacher.
Teachers seeking to be empowered:
Decide they will be different than the normal, the expectation, or the media hype.
Clearly define what they believe great teaching is.
Are pro-active in their personal and professional development.
Filter information against their beliefs and hold fast to their beliefs.
Focus and allocate time and attention to specific goals and objectives.
Provide resources for professional and personal development — Schools are filled with educators. That sounds so obvious, but teacher leaders must realize this and continuously endeavour in continuing their development — both professional and personal. Teachers are notorious for overworking, neglecting their families and becoming disappointed. We know that whole teachers are needed to reach whole children. They understand that education is like a Monet — the viewer (teacher) must step back to see the beauty of the work. The micro view distorts the vision.
'We must encourage teachers to seek professional partnerships and relationships beyond their building — In his 1937 book, “Think and Grow Rich,” Napoleon Hill proposed the concept of the “Master Mind.” He wrote, “When a group of individual brains are coordinated and function in harmony, the increased energy created through that alliance, becomes available to every individual brain in the group.” This increased energy includes ideas and new thinking that are above and beyond what one mind alone can conceive. Leaders encourage and celebrate their teachers for interacting with others in their field.
TeachersTeacher empowerment is not as elusive as we’ve been lead to believe. These are the action steps that can be taken to move toward teacher empowerment. It is not the easy way, but it is a joyful and purposeful journey; one that leads us toward filling every classroom with a teacher who makes our hearts leap in our chests when we enter his/her classroom.
Let us define the role of the school leader and the personal responsibility each teacher must embrace on his/her way to empowerment.
(Inspired by article in SEEN Magazine by Wyn Godbold)