Teachers need to be trusted

20160622_181052The other day, I mentioned the title of a book I stumbled on, and then lamented the fact that so few organisations today care about making work a happy experience for all concerned. I asked, “If a major goal of life is to be happy, and since we spend so much of our daily waking time at the workplace, why are we paying so little attention to designing work and a work environment that are at least more pleasant, not to say enjoyable?”

One former student, who IS enjoying her work, shared her thought:
‘I think “trust” is a very important attribute. I think I’m lucky to work in a happy workplace. If the boss gives enough trust and lets the staff do what they feel proud of, that creates a lovely place to work at. Sadly there must be some management people who really like manipulating people “under” them, for some sort of political agenda. ……’

That reminds me of one common grievance I often hear from my former students: that they have to spend so much time on checking others and on being checked. Every time I hear such grievances, I can’t help thinking: “Isn’t everyone working in education over-stretched already? There are thousands of other things in education that are more worthy of our time!”

Trust is particularly important for jobs that require initiative and creativity, such as teaching. If staff don’t feel trusted, they will simply work passively just to tick off the checklist, without pouring their hearts into the work.

Of course this is not to say there shouldn’t be any staff monitoring; after all, there ARE irresponsible teachers. But such monitoring should be put in proper perspective.

To go back to this former student of mine, she is one of the most energetic, dedicated, and passionate teachers I know. She is always innovating, and is not afraid of initiating new projects, or taking on new duties. Despite her long working hours, she is enjoying her work, and is proud of what she is doing. And the biggest reason is that she feels TRUSTED by the school management.

 

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