Three consecutive days this week we taught our BUILDING FACULTY ENGAGEMENT Workshop on three different campuses. Talented, energized, and engaged educators change the world, which is why we do what we do at School Growth and it's why we designed this unique professional development experience.
Gallup has conducted numerous research studies on the factors that influence school quality, and faculty engagement has consistently been the most reliable and important predictor. An engaged teacher is defined as one who is, "involved with, enthusiastic about, and committed to their work." That is, they are emotionally and energetically invested in the mission, culture, and strategies of the school.
An unengaged teacher, on the other hand, is content with just working for a paycheck. In performing her/his duties, this person is less likely to seek out opportunities for professional growth and improving the team. She/he doesn't feel emotionally connected to the leadership and community of the school, which causes a loss of energy across the school culture rather than positively contributing to it.
3 in 3
Though they have very different missions and organizational structures, all three of these clients share some common priorities:
- Faculty Engagement because of its direct impact on overall school performance and student growth
- Continuous Improvement as a learning organization
- Entrepreneurial Leadership that is constantly seeking a more effective school design
1. Holy Spirit PrepARATORY SCHOOL (GA)
Kyle Pietrantonio, the head administrator of Holy Spirit Prep, wanted to start this year with deeper engagement of faculty and administrators. He knows the importance of every employee of the school understanding and delivering on their contribution to enrollment growth.
In separate sessions with the upper school teachers, support staff, and the lower school and preschool teachers, we collectively considered the importance of faculty culture and how each person contributes to it. Through reflective dialogue, the participants shared their own personal stories of how a teacher changed their lives when they were growing up.
2. McGinnis Woods Country Day (GA)
Serving a wide diversity of students, McGinnis Woods is seeking to strengthen talent development and emotional intelligence. Principal Mary Johnson is committed to the pursuit of excellence and she knows that starts with a high performing team. During this workshop, they shared heartfelt memories of teachers who cared so deeply and gave a new perspective on learning and life.
The participants discussed the value proposition of MWCD and what is important to families in the school's target market. They also examined the issues that have a direct influence on enrollment, such as trust, alignment of expectations, brand/ marketing consistency, and faculty commitment and skills.
3. Christian COMMUNITY School (TN)
CCS is determined to grow in excellence and long-term sustainability. Schools go through stages of maturity just like students, and their leadership is investing the time and resources to take their program to the next level.
The participants learned about the elements of top quality customer service, the importance of knowing and proactively telling the school's story, and best practices for communication that build trust. They also considered ways to improve communication, build greater trust, and protect their culture from the Diseases of the Grapevine.
Faculty Evaluation of the Workshop
Afterwards, the faculty at each school shared about what most resonated with them from the Faculty Engagement workshop. In other words, what were their "Ah Ha!" moments?
"I never thought about how our personal energy and engagement effects my co-workers and especially my students. It really is a choice."
"It's huge to understand that parents aren't just comparing the quality of our service to other schools--they're also comparing us to other top quality companies like Disney and Chick-Fil-A."
"Communication is critical, and we have to make sure we guard our culture--we all own it."
"Re-enrollment starts on the first day of school, and we, as teachers, need to be intentional about building deep relationships with families--especially the new ones."
"Life doesn't come with an eraser, so we need to be ready each day to see our peers, our parents, and especially our students through a fresh lens of hope and high expectations."
"You did an amazing job today. The School Growth team is so knowledgeable and passionate about the dynamics that make a vibrant and healthy school. We were blessed to have you here."
Teacher orientation is a great time to deliver this professional development for Faculty Engagement, but this message should also be shared frequently throughout the year and with different voices to reinforce the key points. For more information and to schedule this training for your school, visit the Building Faculty Engagement page, email Innovate@SchoolGrowth.com, or call (855) 444-7698.