This post was inspired by Christina’s #FreelancerDiary thoughts on her excellent blog.
Among other thought-provoking questions, there is a one shared by a teacher (and Christina as the post author) that made me want to respond. Quoting below, then adding my thoughts.
Teacher: What can I do when I’ve seen there might be some learning disability in a student, but my DoS says to not mention anything because it will upset the parents?
Christina: From the first moment A. started sharing, my thoughts were “there’s clearly no support there’. That DoS has failed in keeping the team going. Unfortunate, but common.
Two points to make, out of personal experience:
When the DoS doesn’t hold one-one teacher sessions regarding feedback and conduct, there’s a problem.
When the DoS tells you to be quiet about anything concerning your learners, there’s a problem.
no (quality) training for being a manager is another problem (even though there might be a need, and a budget for an academic management position, this person is often someone from the teaching team, who has been with the company long enough to ‘keep and transfer knowledge’ to colleagues; sometimes, there is no training, or even a job description for this job)
being told what is to be done is a huge problem (as well as not being able to hear someone’s concern); especially if it is pattern, and the way the DoS is being treated by the senior management
as freelancers, we can choose our Personal Learning Networks and communication circles. Teacher networks and communities become important channels to voice a concern and share advice (and/or a simple chance to be heard)
as freelancers, we are ‘free’ in many ways – not having a boss, and not being a boss…
Question: is a possible reason for the growing number of freelancing teachers (at least in my culture here) hidden in the DoS problems outlined above? Is freelancing a form of quitting?
Teacher Hub is such a great name!
Networking versus Community Building is a question that made me think. This post was/is my starting point. Might share more thoughts on this soon!
Thank you Christina for making me think and write! 🙂