Published on March 10, 2014
The School Leader and the underperforming teacher Informal and Formal Procedures
The Meeting Almost immediately and before The Principal has had an opportunity to say anything, Mr Maguire blurts out: “This is the last place I want to be right now…. in here, in school or in class…… I’m thinking of calling it a day altogether-things are just gone from bad to worse for me…… I think that’s the thing to do…things just are not happening for me.
Score the Principal’s response from 1-5, from the list of six
Principals Response 1 ‘On the basis of what you have just said ,Id say you show a very definite lack of self confidence at the moment’.
Principals Response 2 ‘Tell me a little about why you are not enjoying your work and what you mean by things are not happening for you.’
Principals Response 3 “You are wrong if you think that ‘calling it a day’ is the answer”
Principals Response 4 ‘I’ve heard worse accounts of teachers in difficulty…and they turned out all right in the end. You seemed to be doing fine up to last year’.
Principals Response 5 ‘Why don’t you make a list of what it is about work that is problematic and that is causing you to be unhappy and we will meet tomorrow and go through this again.’
Principals Response 6 “…are you telling me that you are unhappy in yourself at the moment.. and that school has not been easy……and that you would like to tease it out”
Responses 1-6 Directive Evaluative Supportive Interpretative Reflective Probing
Impact of Principals initial Response Probing Supportive Reflective Directive Interpretative Evaluating Challenging Confronting
Mr Maguire? Passivity Aggression Acceptance Defence Fatalism
Perceptual Positions Second Position First Position Third Position
Strategies: • identify and reflect on feelings • paraphrase Means putting aside own prejudices and points of view EMPATHY “You feel…… because…..” Understanding the experiences, behaviours and feelings of others as THEY experience them Avoid: • sympathy • Interpretation • Advice To be effective: • take time to think • use short responses • use client’s language • be tentative At best it is a way of ‘being with’ others
Flow (High) Anxiety Challenges Flow Boredom Apathy (Low) (Low) Skills (High) Source: Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1990). Flow: The psychology of optimal experience. New York: Harper & Row
Some negative features late career • • • • • • • • Increasing sense of mortality Impending retirement Experiences of repetitive change - wearing Energy levels Health Technological generational inversion Growing disenchantment Declining confidence
Support 0 0 Cognitive Emotional
Two big questions for the Principal Is there underperformance? How do I know?
Performance Career Stages 60+ Time
Different emotional/cognitive landscapes? ….and despite your best as coach/mentor/colleague …………..you may find it necessary in Mr Maguire’s case to move on now to…. the more formal stage.
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