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Stakeholder engagement is an essential aspect of the education sector which, when fostered, benefits everyone involved.

Indeed, teachers have a passion for learning and making a difference that motivates them daily. However, their jobs are not easy – with responsibilities ranging from planning and preparing lessons, marking student work, researching and developing teaching materials, and much more.

From this, it becomes clear that teachers may require the help of others to ease their workload and make their jobs manageable. Several stakeholders in the education sector can support teachers – including students, parents, administration, colleagues, and the wider community. This article outlines ‘what teachers want’ from these respective stakeholders to help boost learning and improve effectiveness across all classrooms.

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What students can do

Teachers want students to take an active role in achieving their full academic potential. Such active engagement paves the way for lively classroom discussion and makes monitoring and tracking progress easier. Some ways students can contribute to their learning environment include:

Being respectful

students can help cultivate a positive learning environment by respecting authority. This involves completing tasks without argument, addressing staff appropriately, listening carefully, and following classroom rules and guidelines. Such respect should also extend to fellow pupils too.

Be prepared and focused for class

Teachers value students who come to class prepared and motivated, showing that they are ready to learn. Preparation involves showing up to class on time, completing work before the deadline, and formulating questions or comments to aid class discussion.

Recognize individual strengths and weaknesses

Teachers want students to be aware of their strengths and use them in lessons to further their learning experience and exemplify the behavior to others. They also require students to be aware of their strengths and consciously consider self-improvement.

Engage critically

Critical thinking involves engaging with information and using it to form judgments or lines of inquiry. Students who possess critical thinking are more likely to participate in classroom discussions and seek out answers themselves. Such engagement shows students to be invested in their learning. Learn more about critical thinking in the classroom here.

Understand key concepts

Teachers spend a lot of time creating lessons and worksheets to aid student understanding. Therefore, they want students to use the materials to understand critical concepts and apply them in their work. Doing so shows the teacher that the pupil understood the assignment and that their resources are helpful.

What parents can do

When parents are involved in their child’s education, it motivates the pupil toward academic success and ensures they have a willing support network behind them. Some things that teachers value from parents include:

Good communication

Teachers value parents communicating their concerns regarding their child’s education appropriately. This fosters a trusting relationship between parents and teachers, whereby issues and concerns can be discussed openly. Good communication guarantees both parties can work together in the student’s interests.

Value education

Placing importance on education motivates children to perform well and participate in an academic environment. Parents who value education are more likely to support children with their work and find ways to challenge them academically.

Trust and support

Teachers and parents should develop a mutually-reinforcing relationship where parents have confidence in the teachers’ approach to learning and their advice on how to support their children through school better. Such support is helpful when reinforcing classroom management strategies and when volunteer roles come along.

Understand their interests

Even where disciplinary action takes place, teachers want parents to understand that their actions always follow the child’s best interests. This requires parents to trust their educational judgment and work to reinforce their opinion.

What administration can do

Excellent school administration is essential for student learning. Administrators are responsible for providing teachers with administrative support and guidance. They ensure school operations run smoothly by creating a safe learning environment and managing the school budget. They can support teachers by:

Aiding in difficult situations

Several situations may be difficult for teachers to handle alone. Examples include handling a misbehaved student, dealing with parent complaints, and solving student disputes and instances of bullying. Teachers want the administration to listen to their concerns and support their decision-making.

Keeping up to date with classroom activities

Good teachers want administrators to know what they do to aid pupil development and learning. Such awareness shows that they are committed to student learning and value the work of the teacher.

Providing resources

Administrators are responsible for handling school budgets and allocating resources. Teachers want the administration to assign resources, within their means, to support classroom learning and benefit students.

Communicating expectations

School administrators define and implement expectations for all staff members and students. Teachers value administrators who actively communicate policy and procedures and provide feedback on better developing classroom management and student learning by these guidelines. They also want administrators to ‘practice what they preach’ by following the rules.

Providing advice

Teachers are committed to the professional development of themselves and their students. Receiving positive and negative feedback from administrators shows that the administration takes a personal interest in their improvement and is willing to help them by providing accurate and honest evaluations.

Co-workers

Teaching is a challenging career that requires patience and passion. No one better understands this than others within the profession. Teachers can create support networks that pave the way for a more sustainable and long-lasting career. Read tips on how teachers can support each other and prevent burnout here. More on what teachers want from each other includes:

Being professional

Teachers want their colleagues to demonstrate professionalism in academic settings. This can be achieved by wearing appropriate attire, separating personal and professional lives, and valuing the opinion of their peers. Teachers also want their peers to adhere to school policies to present a uniform front to cohorts.

Providing support

Teachers value other teachers who take the time to aid them during difficult decisions or situations. Such support shows they take a collaborative approach to teaching and are willing to contribute to a positive school culture.

Respecting differences

There are several pedagogical approaches to teaching – including a constructivist approach, a collaborative approach, and an integrative approach. Teachers want others to respect their method and understand that different ways of teaching help to diversify student learning and, in doing so, make lessons more engaging.

Putting on a unified front

Poor student behavior is a by-product of miscommunication and disunity among staff. Presenting a united front to students helps enforce discipline while also showing commitment to the school philosophy.

Community members

Community members are those beyond the immediate stakeholders local to the school. Teachers want community members to:

Get involved

There are several opportunities for community members to get involved in schools. Some examples include helping with fundraisers, volunteering to help on school trips, or working as a classroom assistant. A more conservative way to support student development is donating money to the school or projects it works on.

Understand the value of education

Teachers want community members to stress the importance of a good education and share in promoting learning and engagement. Externalizing these beliefs helps to encourage students who feel the weight of community support behind them.

Share in the school’s vision

Community members can be active participants in developing and promoting school missions. For instance, they can sit on school committees to share their insights and better understand what the school is doing to support youths. Such involvement helps hold the school accountable.

Be proud of the school’s achievements

Teachers want community members to share in school successes, whether as small as winning a football game or receiving recognition for outstanding practices. Sharing in school celebrations helps to motivate students to achieve the same level of success.

Continuous involvement

Teachers want the local community to realize that involvement transcends their children being in the school. They believe that the power is in continuity and value community members who maintain ties with the school and help promote its brilliance.

Summary

Learning what the teacher wants is essential for creating and maintaining a positive learning environment where all stakeholders are committed to a common aim. The insights provided in this article should go some way in helping educational institutions foster a more collaborative working environment.