Educational institutions have a great responsibility for shaping the minds, careers and life of people. They are not places or centers that provide just degrees or certificates to students when done with the course, but they are places of learning.
Schools or educational institutions are largely responsible for the good or bad of an individual, the society and the world at large. Being provider of knowledge and information, the curriculum, systems, rules and policies followed and adopted by schools/institutions are crucial. Overall, administrators have big responsibilities to ensure everything is in place or in tune as per the needs and requirements of every stakeholder.
From finding the right and qualified faculty, creating new curriculum, integrating new technologies in classrooms, exploring useful tools, giving educators and students the best resources possible, to partnering with other institutions, administrators have immense responsibilities upon their shoulders to improve or take their schools forward.
In this article, we bring you some important tips which could help administrators improve the school and help students grow.
Outline targeted goals and take required actions
One of the most common blockades that prevent schools or any educational institutions from achieving success is the lack of concrete actionable plans and goals. Administrators need to have a strong vision and clearly outline their goals and objectives, set a road map of what they will do to achieve them, and take actions accordingly. Additionally, administrators should map out strategies for every stakeholder – teaching faculties, non-teaching staff and all other employees – making sure everyone understands his or her role in achieving the targeted plans/goals.
Understand the problem
Rather than bringing out the solution for an issue instantly, administrators should take enough time to understand the problem first properly and then address them accordingly. They can follow the ADDIE process – Analyze, Design, Develop, Implement, and Evaluate — as a formula to come up with meaningful solutions for every problem. There have been numerous instances where this model has proved its potential.
Establish professional learning communities
Instead of organizing workshop, conference or seminar every now and then and paying for speakers and hiring substitutes to cover classes, which are pricey in nature, schools can establish professional learning communities to create opportunities for continuous learning and development. By doing so, it will provide a platform for collective learning, instructional collaboration, peer observation, collective research, and address many other key issues.
Allow part taking in decision making
Nobody wants too much restriction, including teachers and students. Many teachers often leave their job because they are not given the opportunity to make decisions on their own. Administrators should provide autonomy (when need to and on certain areas) to teachers and make them take decisions on their own, because sometimes they know best and can make the best decision when it comes to students learning ability and mindset.
Even for students, they should be permitted to have their say in certain areas or matters. For instance, educators can allow students to make their choices on curriculum, activities, and policies. This will also help develop teamwork in the classroom.
Improve school infrastructure
In this digital era, a good digital set-up is the need of the hour for every school. All the traditional systems or tools that no longer work need to be upgraded with the ones that meet the needs of students, teachers, and the management. Administrators should make available all the technologies or resources that will be needed by the teachers and students for a better teaching/learning experience. To prepare for the digital age means to pace up with the ever-changing environment and technologies and administrators must ensure all the infrastructures are in place as per the needs of the teachers and learners.
Allow students to share views, opinions and even give feedbacks
Administrators need to allow and encourage students to share their views and opinions and even give feedbacks to help them improve the functioning of the school. To make the views sharing interesting and helpful, placing a suggestion box for students and taking them up for discussion from time to time can be helpful in addressing various problems.
Conduct needs assessment
The school improvement plan seeks for an honest assessment of the practices and their results. Administrators should from time to time conduct comprehensive needs assessment that would accurately gauge school’s strengths, weaknesses, and areas for improvement. Assessing student achievement data, classroom walkthrough information, and surveys of students, parents as well as teachers periodically will help administrators have a clear picture of the situations and take sound decision accordingly.
Support teachers to integrate different technologies
Today, technology drives success in almost every field. Education sector is no exception. School administrators need to encourage teachers the use of different technologies for better teaching and learning outcomes. However, not all teachers are tech-savvy, so administrators should support everyone to learn and adopt new and emerging technologies and integrate them in their teaching methodology.
Facilitate bridging academic-industry gap
There is a huge gap between the academic world and industries worldwide. Majority of students are not fit to enter in the workforce due to lack of basic employability skills required in the real workplace. To make students future-ready, schools and administrators should organize business fair or seminar periodically, bringing experts/professionals to make students understand the real needs of the industry and make them work on to meet the requirements in the actual workplace. Administrators should facilitate students the opportunities to understand the business world while still in school.
Build robust communication network
Besides all the above, administrators should build and ensure a robust communication network for all stakeholders. Having and ensuring a good communication network between administrators, teachers, students, and parents is a key to improving and taking the school forward.
While ensuring everything is not an easy thing to do, implementing the above simple tips and practices by administrators can bring positive impacts in their effort to improving or taking their schools forward.