I love our counselor! She is just the balance our leadership team needs. My principal and I tend to be really focused on the "business" of school. She and I were discussing this post specifically about teacher empowerment. I was telling her I wasn't sure our vertical team process was doing the empowering of teachers that we desired. She agreed and very gently (in the way only a great counselor can) shared that maybe the things they were working on were not the meaningful and relevant things that would truly empower them!
And BOOM...there it was. Maybe this isn't ground breaking for you reading, but this was quite enlightening to me. I am a green (True Colors). Work is play and play is work. I love being in the meat of
the work! I also have the tendency to 1) rely too much upon the the idea that we are adults and these are things expected of us 2) assume that people have the innate desire see the value of contributing to the larger organization
These teams are designed to place decision making, recommendations and campus development in the hands of our teachers. We want to empower them in this way. I won't lie, it hasn't been wildly successful. We have had our moments and we've tried to learn from them, but this conversation really brought to light that teachers want and need what kids need when it comes to empowerment. I've taken part in enough chats and discussions (whether in person or digital) to know the the engagement vs. empowerment debate. They need experiences that have personal meaning, relevance and value where the connection to the school's need and their classroom are apparent or will become apparent in the work.
As with our students the question then becomes do we have the right relationship with our teachers to be able to appropriate address the ideas and needs above? Do we have a clear picture of gifts, strengths, goals, desires, etc. to help put the right people in the right places for the best interest of our students and that truly empowers our teachers to be thinkers, reflectors and contributors in the way they need to be? This is definitely an area of growth for me!
I'd love to hear your thoughts and stories! How are you empowering your teachers? How are you being empowered as a teacher?