School leaders and teacher leaders must train and support teachers to get student learning results that last. Training and support begins with communicating expectations to teachers. Just as we communicate expectations for student learning to our students in our classrooms, a school leaders and teacher leaders or mentor teachers must communicate their expectations to teachers. At Studer Education and TeacherReady, our research about improving performance and engagement has found that “what works” in health care can also be “what works” in education. Given this, consider the following adaptation from Quint Studer’s Results That Last (John Wiley & Sons, Inc., publishing, 2008) to support teachers to improve their performance, and in turn to achieve improved student learning results:
- Communicate that you care about and value your teachers.
- Provide teachers the tools and equipment needed to practice effective teaching strategies.
- Provide teachers opportunities to learn and/or re-learn effective teaching strategies.
- Recognize and reward teachers for their good work.
- Deal with low performing teachers and stop hiring more of them.
When school leaders implement these elements, they begin to create a school culture of excellence where high performing (effective) teachers will become highly engaged with each other and their students, where solid performing (effective) teachers will increasingly engage with each other and their students, and where low performing (least effective) teachers simply will improve, quit, or be removed from classrooms. The importance of this for our students is evidenced in research by Marzano and colleagues (2003). The importance of communicating expectations to teachers is evidenced in Studer’s Results that Last, and grounds our work with educational systems across the country: Over 90 percent of employees perform when they know what their leader expects from them and when the leader practices the five actions/elements above.
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Become a teacher with the assistance of TeacherReady. TeacherReady offers individuals an opportunity to earn a professional teaching certificate from the State of Florida; it was developed by teachers for teachers and is a member of the NCATE/CAEP accredited Professional Education Unit at the University of West Florida.