In many schools, we often see one or a few underperforming teachers. Some of them also misbehave, which may result in poor performance at school. At first, we need to understand that the school is operated by people and people will make mistakes. When dealing with underperforming teachers, they need to do it with fairness, professionalism and utmost care. Here are things that school administrators should do:
- Take real actions: You need to take actions if you want to solve problems. Underperforming and misbehaving teachers should be dealt with properly and you can just hope that the problem will go away. Underperforming teachers will corrode the school atmosphere and prevent students from reaching their full potentials. In fact, adult behaviors don’t change without active intervention.
- Let teachers know what’s expected from them: Make sure that each teacher understands about their job description and union contracts. Make sure that you implement an evaluation system to observe how teachers perform in the school. Make sure that each teacher agrees to these responsibilities. If a teacher is not compliant and doesn’t even agree, then you can consider whether the teacher is really compatible with the school situation.
- Make sure that rules are followed: By following rules, teachers can maintain common decency and simple fairness. By implementing the right rules, it is easy for you to save headaches later.
- Tell them if something is wrong: Underperforming teachers should know when their performance comes up short. In reality, they don’t know about this and they simply have the wrong or lower standard. Students may become disruptive and inattentive if teachers are not competent, so this should already be an indication that something is wrong.
- Involve the union: We know that no two unions are alike and each union may have different contract. It is important to choose a contract that’s beneficial for school, teachers and students. Make sure that teachers understand their inability to follow the union contract could result in bigger problems later on. In many cases, teachers simply want that they are treated professionally and fairly, so you need to fulfil that.
- Document everything: It is a fact that unless it is in writing, it doesn’t actually exist. This also applies in professional matters and school administrators need to document everything relate to teacher performance, such as classroom observations, improvement plans, warnings, reprimands and suspensions. Accurate and organized documentation will make the arbitration process easy to do.
- Perform improvement plan: When employees are underperforming, it is important that they are given the opportunity to improve. An improvement plan should include a solution to provide adequate support and address existing problems. Once the plan is already in place, it is much easier to hold employees accountable and monitor their progress.
- Keep everything professional: If you want to ensure an entirely fair process, make sure that everything is kept professional. Guide teachers to make sure that they follow the contract closely step by step. In some cases, it is a good idea to be procedural and technical, so things can be kept fair. School administrators must be mindful and able to act accordingly.