Problem Solving: Advice For All Teachers

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What would be your number one piece of advice for all teachers?

If I think back to all the difficult periods throughout my teaching career, there is one thing that resonates on each occasion. I failed to share my views with those who held me to account.

Logical reasoning?

As a teacher, there is very little opportunity for reflection. On the other side of the coin, the person that pulls the strings, your head teacher or line manager, will habitually be in line management meetings, negotiating, designing and constructing various tasks to help make things happen. They have much more thinking time …

Think rationally …

If I could offer one piece of advice for every teacher, it would be to remain in constant communication with your line-manager or head teacher no matter what your role. Some managers will try to create conduits to keep small-scale matters away from their day-to-day business. Others will offer ‘open doors’ at specified times…

Offer choices …

If you go to a meeting and present your line manager with a problem, always provide that person with at least two choices. One, this communicates that you have thought about the problem. Two, you are allowing the person in power with the position, knowledge or as the go-to person with the monetary decision to be able to make that final choice.

In my experience, helping that person solve your problem reduces the time spent thinking about the issue.

What you choose to share is your choice. Whether or not your solutions are the ideal ones is another dilemma. If it were me, I would rather know my line manager understands exactly how I think so that there is no stone left unturned.

Read more on having Difficult Conversations.

@TeacherToolkit

In 2010, Ross Morrison McGill founded @TeacherToolkit from a simple Twitter account in which he rapidly became the 'most followed teacher on social media in the UK'. In 2015, he was nominated for '500 Most Influential People in Britain' in The Sunday Times as one of the most influential in the field of education - he remains the only classroom teacher to feature to this day ... Sharing online as @TeacherToolkit, he rebuilt this website (c2008) into what you are now reading, as one of the 'most influential blogs on education in the UK', winning the number one spot at the UK Blog Awards (2018). Today, he is currently a PGCE tutor and is researching 'social media and its influence on education policy' for his EdD at Cambridge University. In 1993, he started teaching and is an experienced school leader working in some of the toughest schools in London. He is also a former Teaching Awards winner for 'Teacher of the Year in a Secondary School, London' (2004) and has written several books on teaching (2013-2018). Read more...

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