When is It Worth Paying to Hire a Great Teacher?
Being a well-liked teacher has its perks – like knowing that your school is doing something right when it comes to student achievement.
A new report from the Chicago Tribune revealed that teachers who are well-liked make a difference in student achievement. Specifically, reported improvements were found in mathematics and special education.
“When teachers have a high amount of respect, [schools] get better results,” according to Traci Kennish, former superintendent of Mt. Carmel School in Novi, Michigan.
Teachers recognized for their talent are more likely to get assigned to challenging assignments, according to the Chicago Tribune, which also cites that most principals feel that promoting a well-liked teacher is the right move.
“You wouldn’t take a banker and say, ‘I want you to be a principal; I don’t like you,’” Kennish said. “Teachers are not like that. They’re human. You want a good, hard-working teacher; they’re human.”
Teachers who are well-liked start their careers with more enthusiasm and enthusiasm grows throughout their career, according to the Chicago Tribune report. Kennish herself had to “worry about her students being the ones that end up getting cut from that class” and gave it her all to complete difficult assignments, she added.
A good teacher has a strong impact on students, and that impact can grow every year. For that reason, a teacher who makes a good impression needs to receive credible leadership support throughout his or her career.
“It is important for a principal to have teacher leadership as one of the strengths of the school,” Mark Schalubays, a former school principal who’s currently a professor at Northeastern University, explained to the Chicago Tribune. “If they’re giving good feedback and they’re doing good listening, they’re giving good coaching.”
A well-liked principal creates a student-centered environment, Schalubays said. One of the most effective ways to build student’s self-esteem and belief in themselves is through leaders who empower them to achieve.
“The best job that you can get for a teenager is a paying job,” Schalubays explained. “If they can become a worker, that’s the dream, that’s the opportunity. What is their dream? Teaching is their dream. What they need is someone to show them how to make that dream come true.”
A teacher who’s well-liked should expect to continue being recognized year after year, as well as receive consistent support.
“They’re going to be recognized for their work,” Kennish told the Chicago Tribune. “Their leader needs to know they can’t do it alone. And they need to know that they can reach farther, even with any administration.”
When it comes to leaders, Kennish recommends using the same approach she once used at Mt. Carmel, which is to establish personal relationships with the head of the classroom. To get a feel for what kind of teachers they’re looking for, Kennish spoke with longtime professors and principals who always give him recommendations that will help their job search.
“We kind of gauge how much a [teacher] enjoys students,” Kennish told the Chicago Tribune. “Because it really comes from a very real place. ‘How would this child feel like if you weren’t there?’ So even if they’re a little intimidating, or if they’re looking like they’re going to take over the classroom and they don’t care what the child is feeling, it’s hard for you to walk in there and say, ‘I want this job.’”