OLE Ghana Publications # 12

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Teacher As A Manger
By Kofi Essien posted April 2013, OLE Ghana   

What answers do you expect when you ask people to name managerial positions they are familiar with? Ready answers will be Bank Manager, Petrol Filing Station Manager, Sales Manager, a Chief Executive. But what about the Teacher? I am sure that name would never come up. 

What is expected of the fore mentioned people and for that matter a manager? Managers are primarily responsible for guiding employees in achieving the goals and ambitions of the organization. They ensure that all processes and practices are working in a proper manner. They have discussions with other members of the organization (top management as well as other ranks) and devise any specific goals which are to be accomplished within a certain time period. A manager if therefore is a Planner, Resource Manager Communicator, Funds Manager, Talents Identifier, A developer of talents, Entrepreneur, Policy creator, Philosopher, and Motivator.   

Doesn’t the teacher do all of the above? Doesn’t the teacher  plan for the success of his/her pupils as well as lessons, manage resources including TLMs, communicate with other teachers and parents, manage the capitation grant he/she receives. Why does the teacher’s name not come up when the roll call of managers is being called? Do teachers see themselves as managers? Perhaps, may be, just perhaps many teachers by their own actions and in actions do not hold themselves out as managers. How do many teachers carry themselves? What is the attitude to work: our demeanor; our outlook towards life; our dressing; the way we talk about our work; confidence level borne out of our own knowledge base of our subject area; the way we deal with our subordinates (teachers/pupils).   

Well I have news for you. You as a teacher are a manger too and the earlier you claim that self worth and live up to it the better. Teachers manage the Learning (we do not teach) that takes place in schools; manage Space & Time, TLMs and Human beings (teachers, pupils, parents, other community members). So what should a teacher do to be a good manager? A few tips that may do the trick. You should want to be a social entrepreneur and an agent of social change. Love helping society, especially the kids and be determined to leave them one step better than you met them. Be a role model, ready to serve and to learn. Be ready to show the way by doing. Be innovative, creative and resourceful in the managing of the Space, Time and limited Resources at your disposal. Be prepared to challenge the conventional approach to doing things and be the odd one out.  

Teachers should have an in-depth understanding of their managerial duties/responsibilities as well as ensure that key managerial activities are done well and done right. For the teacher it translates into having a very good knowledge of the subjects you teach, knowledge of your pupils, knowledge of the current tricks’ of your trade and being innovative.  Be a team player and ready to collaborate with others. Work well with others and show respect for, and value, others contributions to the common cause. Be a leader and cultivate desirable personal characteristics. Be self motivated and motivate those who work with you (pupils included). Have integrity, be flexible, organized, dependable/reliable, optimistic, confident, calm and respond but not react to situations. Be a fair and firm mediator, an active listener, communicate effectively (both written and orally) and give constructive feedback:

Remember you are an educationist not JUST A TEACHER. Bring some respect to the job. Love and or grow to love the work that you do. Do it because you want to do it. Stop the 'as for me I am a teacher’ mantra and contribute what you can to society. Only you can change how people perceive you or think about you.   

So next time you want to talk down your profession remember you are a manger, and an 'education manger’ and your office is the classroom where you are in charge and you need to live and behave as such.      


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