Teachers do a hugely important job. And because schools understand the gravity of their work, they need to empower teachers with the necessary skills & knowledge to provide the best learning experience for their students, if at all they are to have any conceivable impact on school standards. It’s as simple as that.
In fact research has shown that an inspiring and informed teacher is the most important school-related factor influencing student achievement. A report on Strategies for Implementing Teacher Reforms compiled by The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation emphasizes how a teacher’s effectiveness has a lot more impact on student learning than any other factor under the control of school systems, including class size, school size, and the quality of after-school programs.
In spite of these realities, its significance and the scale of professionalism involved is consistently underrated in Nigerian society. In part because of these perceptions, teaching has not been seen as a leading career of choice among Nigerian graduates. Moreover, the education community starting at the Government level has not focused sufficiently on improving teacher effectiveness: on the recruitment, evaluation, development, placement, and retention of highly effective teachers.
Empower The Teacher: What Can Be Done
Ultimately it comes down to the schools that have the crucial task of creating an enabling environment that empowers, motivates and develops teachers in Nigeria and provides a learning pathway for them to continue their professional development.
Ideally, this pathway should include clarity of role and expectations, socio-emotional peer support with a sense of community, access to strategic information, training resources such curriculum design and teaching techniques and inspired leadership who share vision and values input.
Not forgetting that technology increases teacher-empowerment on an unprecedented scale. With that in mind, schools can build a culture of innovation & accountability that supports teachers in getting connected and pursuing meaningful professional development opportunities, in order to do so effectively.
By giving teachers the right technology tools, like a school management software that provides them with key data, they can then use the information to identify where students are falling behind, revise lesson plans and develop more focused, personalized instruction. Like I mentioned from the start, empowering teachers is about improving the student learning experience.
The bottom line is that empowered teachers in turn empower students which may help to ensure the future of any school. Technology is best used when it allows teachers to create a more personalized and accessible learning experience that will add to a school’s set of standards.
However, the job doesn’t solely rest on the schools themselves; some recommend that teachers who are not fortunate to be part of such environments may gain empowerment by practicing self-empowering techniques. Some of these may include public affirmation of their profession, an intuitive sense of control of their own behavior, learning, and ability to convince.