With just five students, a small school started in 1982 by Shri Indraman Shahdeo Singh (the Founder and Chairperson of Priyadarshani Group of Schools and Colleges in Bhosari) is now one of the well-known schools in Pune. Over the years, the number of students has grown to 15,000 plus with the institution spreading to 4 different places. Ms Anita Nair is the principal of one of the Priyadarshani Schools. She worked as a teacher at the school before becoming the supervisor and later, getting promoted to the post of principal thanks to her leadership qualities. She is the current School Leader of Priyadarshani School and Jr. College, Alandi.
Challenge faced by the school leader
The school leader was facing the challenge of teacher management as teachers lacked the motivation to work. The tasks allotted to them were not completed within the given time frame and the quality of education was getting affected. The school leader could see that the teachers lacked leadership skills and did not take initiatives on their own.
Initiative by the School Leader and ISLI Programme Manager
To understand teachers’ problems better, Ms Anita had meetings with them and discussed the rationale behind ISLI practices. She discussed the issue with the ISLI Programme Manager, Shruti. Shruti suggested various teacher management strategies to her to help manage teachers better and to motivate them. She also discussed the peer observation tool and feedback tracker with the school leader. The school leader was intrigued by the suggested motivational structures/reward systems in school for teachers. She discussed the same with her Chairman and narrowed down on having a reward structure. She wanted monetary incentives to be given to teachers to help motivate them. So she managed her resources and even convinced the Chairman for the same.
After discussing the feedback tracker with the ISLI Programme Manager, she designed her own tracker to assess teacher performance on various strands. She wanted this process to be very transparent and fair. The parameters on which the teachers were tracked are listed below:
- Lesson Plan
- Log Book
In addition to all the above quantitative metrics, she tried gathering qualitative data by doing the below mentioned:
- The school leader took feedback on all the teachers from a random group of students from different sets of classrooms on a periodic basis
- She conducted meetings with class monitors to help gauge the quality of work of teachers
- She also took feedback from parents and took into consideration their complaints, if any
- The school leader continued with periodic school walkthroughs and lesson observation to gather information about the quality of instructional teaching of teachers
After collating all this data and using the above parameters, she has now initiated the Best Teacher of the Month award, wherein the selected teacher is given a monetary incentive. For the same, she also displays the picture of the winner on a board outside her office.
- This reward structure led to a tremendous improvement in teachers’ motivation and helped the school leader to tackle the issue of low participation & lack of enthusiasm among teachers.
- The tracker helped teachers to be on task and accountable for their deliverables. Timely submission of deliverables and initiative for various activities by teachers is now being seen.
- The student behaviour in classrooms has improved since the teachers now consciously invest in building a good relationship with students and supporting them.
- Parents’ feedback about teachers has also improved.
- The school leader’s observations have helped her find the strengths and areas of improvement of her teachers and to support her staff better.
School leader’s leadership and skill development areas:
- Collection and recording of data
- Analysing the data gathered
- Planning and implementation of a structure in the class
- Involving all stakeholders to achieve a goal
- Working towards the professional development of her staff, thus relationship building with teachers
Learning areas for the school leader:
- Importance of teacher-management in improving student learning
- Teacher Management techniques and how can it be helped in setting a culture of healthy competition among teachers and thus improve teacher performance
- Collecting evidence from difference sources, so data triangulation is a major learning
- Classroom observation and school walk-through helps improve understanding of the school
- Setting and achieving goals related to school
- The school leader plans to move forward with this current structure and work upon improving it further
- She plans to share these practices with other Priyadarshani schools and help respective school leaders set up this structure in schools