The Relationship between Headmaster and Staff


Delicate and critical role of the principal, the principal has to play a very delicate and critical role as he has to strike a balance in the practical field among fighting and quarrelling students, grudging and grumbling teachers and complaining parents. The members of the teaching staff have their different whims: some sensitive, some emotional, some enthusiastic, some old, some young, some trained and other untrained and some marking time. The principal has to make the BEST use of them and seek their whole hearted cooperation in all the activities of the school, academic, co-curricular and administrative.
Encouragement in one case, assistance in overcoming difficulties in another, suggestions here, definite orders there, all are necessary, “writes H.G. Stead. The principal has to weld the members of the staff into a real team.
The principal is expected at various times and by various interests to play many roles. He must be nature of this position be:
a) A teacher of teachers.
b) A supervisor not only of teachers but of service personnel.
c) A disciplinarian just but effective.
d) A psychologist at least to the extent of discovering maladjustments, especially of teachers which hinder progress.
e) A financier in organizing the school budget.
f) A sociologist to the extent of understanding the relationships of the school with social forces.
g) A lawyer to the extent of being able to know his own obligations, rights, legal abilities as well as of those of all school personnel.
h) A technical expert in educational measurement and evaluation.
i) An expert in group dynamics to the extent of working effectively with staff, pupils, public and the authorities.

Relation of the principal with his colleagues:
Milo Stuart states, “The relation of the principal to his teachers should be the most intimate of any. If a teacher fails, the principal fails; if the teacher succeeds, the principal succeeds. To sum up what the principal’s job is, I shall call him a referee the captain of the ship the boss of the firm a juvenile judge before whose tribunal come out not only the culprits but the adults who frequently contribute to the pupil’s shortcomings. He is a promoter who must project the future of his institution and convert the public to his plan. He is a social physician to every parent who has wayward son who needs attention. He is a friend in need to pupils and to all the homes in which misfortune comes. His power, his activities, even the good he does, can not be measured by a material yardstick.

Principle of Democratic Administration.
We have already discussed that a Head should follow the principles of democratic administration. According to K.G. Saiyidain, “To my mind a good Headmaster is one who can inspire and enthuse his colleagues without dominating over them like a hard task master”.

Principle of Sharing Responsibility:
He should be prepared to share the control and authority with his colleagues. He should not think that he is born to rule and should not desire to be on the top of everything in the school, i.e. the president of games, the chairman of literary societies and the patron of social service and health unions, etc. the different departments should be placed under the charge of the senior members of the staff. Principle of sharing responsibility should be the keynote of his policy. Supervision of the examinations, school cleanliness, morning assembly, funds, hostel, scouting, literary and social activities are some of the chief duties which would be delegated by the Headmaster to the other members of the staff. This will develop in them a sense of responsibility for the school.
The Headmaster should frequently consult his colleagues regarding improvement in school discipline and instruction. Such consultations instill in them the spirit that they belong to the school and are as responsible to it as the headmaster is staff meeti9ngs should be called from time to time. The teachers should be given full freedom to put forth their problems in these meetings. Briggs found that the teachers expected in a staff meeting.
a. Help on their problems
b. The wider outlook in education
c. Meeting to be happy and wholesome,
d. Meeting based on appreciation of effort and accomplishment rather than shortcomings and faults. The head of the institution should take note of the teachers problems and accordingly given his suggestions for the solution of the problems concerned.

A good headmaster keeps in view the human factor while dealing with the member of the staff. He treats them jut like friends and does not say anything to them in the presence of the students and their parents which may lower their prestige. He does not give them suggestions regarding methods of teaching when they are taking their classes but gives the same by calling them in his office and tries to avoid all bossing tendencies. The teacher should come out of the headmasters office a better person, wiser and in a more pleasant mood than he was when he went in his office. Autocratic heads are always ready to snub any pupil or teacher who puts questions to them and are easily annoyed when their colleagues differ from them.

Principle of constructive criticism:
The criticism offered by the Headmaster should be judicious, fair and constructive rather than destructive. Supervision should be a matter of inspiration to teachers. It should be moderate. Excessive supervision kills all the initiative and drive of teachers. The role of a policeman or a military officer does more harm than good.

Principle of cooperation:
On the close cooperation of the headmaster and the staff depends on the efficiency of the school and the head of the institution is to a great extent responsible for securing cooperation of teachers. According to Reavis, No matter what his personal characteristics are, he will not be successful unless he is able to inspire his associates and collaborators with the desire to work cooperatively for the goals for which the school stands. E will be judged by his ability to enlist and to utilize their ability in participating in the solution of school problems and in formulating educational policies that have the common objective of advancing the welfare of the children enrolled in the school. He does not attempt to conceal that he is their leader, but he does not on the other hand remind them what he is.

Principle of friendly supervision:
Speaking about administrators of tomorrow D.I. Lal observes, “He gives up the time old tradition of checking his teachers, frightening his teachers, weakening his teachers and examining them, but manipulates things so as to train his teachers, inspire his teachers and trust them. In this way he will not only create an excellent professional moral among the teaching staff but will also cultivate a vital interest in them for educational philosophy, so that they can continually test and re test their plans and purposes, ideas, ideals, methods and procedures, systems and organizations.
Jacobson observes, The principal should not interrupt classes, create disturbances on entering and leaving, or to take the class away from the teacher, unless invited to do so. If the principal stays to the end of the class period he should observe good manners by expressing in a sentence or two his pleasure in visiting the class but refrain from making condemnatory statements until there is sufficient time to discuss them at length, if indeed he indulges in them at all.

1) Take the first step in being friendly.
2) Be cheerful.
3) Remember and use names
4) Take interest in the out of school activities of the members of the staff.
5) Be easily accessible to the staff.
6) Avod taking special privileges.
7) Be polite and courteous.
8) Avoid keeping people waiting.
9) Ask persons if they are willing to assume responsibility.
10) Take prompt action on requests.
11) Keep a record of promises and live up to them.
12) Attempt to see actions and decisions from the other persons point of view.
13) Give credit to the persons responsible when the school receives praise.
14) Let people know when their work is good.
15) Be concerned about the way a teacher feels about his job and his out of school life.
16) Be willing to listen.
17) Avoid any evidence of authority.
18) Ask questions that relieve anxiety about discussing a problem.
19) Give praise for reporting facts accurately.
20) Avoid giving advice.
21) Become fully informed about the social structure of the staff.
22) Refuse to accept the assumption that conflicting groups in staff are unavoidable.
23) Offer services to assist in seeking agreement when disagreements arise in the group.
24) Do not show any undue favour to any member of the staff.
25) Inform new teachers on matters of school regulation.
26) Visit teachers who are ill.
27) Keep in mind while preparing your schedule that other teachers are not put to inconvenience.
28) Show consideration for bashful teachers.
29) Give teachers a chance to tell their side of the story.
30) Do not make personal remarks to shame them.
31) Show consideration for the feeling of other teachers.
32) Do not embarrass a teacher of inferior ability or one who has physical defects.
33) Do not laugh at the actions which seem funny to you.
34) Learn to work, to play, to live successfully with your associates.
35) Learn to like people.
36) Find out how different teachers wished to be treated and treat them accordingly.
37) Be willing to help teachers secure better positions.
38) Make changes slowly, preferably at teachers suggestions.
39) Seek the help of teachers as co workers and special advisers.
40) Be sincerely interested in teachers, like them as persons. Lincoln said, “If you wish to win a man to your cause, first convince him that you are his sincere friend.
41) Give teachers your undivided attention both when listening and when talking to them.
42) Criticize only in private.
43) Smile! As they say in the Navy, “ a happy ship is a good ship” so, too, a happy school is a good school.
44) Always ask a teachers permission to break into a classroom activity.
45) Help teachers in difficulty with pupils, parents or other teachers.
46) Meet staff in informal situations.
47) Use the word co-workers in place of subordinates and treat them as such.
48) Motivate desirable action through commendation.
49) Share knowledge of coming events with colleagues.
50) Give reasons for instructions and orders.
51) Earn respect of colleges by character and behaviour.
52) Regard yourself as a member of the group rather than command respect through position.
53) Encourage suggestions, evaluate them carefully, and accept them on merit.
54) Deal appropriately with outside criticism of staff members or the organization.

Efficient running of the school demands that members of the staff should occasionally meet for sharing responsibilities as well as experiences. These meetings should be presided over by the principal.
These may be convened from time to time.
Briggs found that teachers expected the following things in a staff.
i. Help in their problems.
ii. A wider outlook on education.
iii. Meeting to be happy and wholesome.
iv. Meeting based on appreciation of effort and accomplishment rather than shortcomings and faults.

Planning of staff meetings:
The teachers should be informed in advance of the problems to be discussed in the meetings. It is very important for the head to listen to every teacher with attention and care. Minutes of staff meetings should be kept if possible.
A limit must be put to staff meetings and the BEST appears to be once a month of course, there need not be any rigidity in observing this principle. Occasional meetings for some particular purposes may have to be called. Sometimes it may become necessary for he head to convey staff meeting to clarify certain points of written order issued by him. An atmosphere of cheerfulness should prevail in all such meetings.
The head of the institution should take note of the teachers problems and accordingly give his suggestions for the solution of the problems concerned. His attempt should be to help the teachers as much as possible.
Time of meeting should be such as most of the members of the staff find it convenient to attend.
Staff meetings should not be too long. Usually not more than one and a half hours be spent upon these.

Characteristics of staff meeting:
1) All discussions should be above the personal level.
2) They should be economical in time.
3) Discussion should not go off the track.
4) They should start in time.
5) They should result in concrete suggestions.

The formation of staff club will facilitate intimate contacts between the head and the members of the staff and also among the members of the staff themselves. One member of the staff should serve as a secretary who should be elected every year so that most of the members get a chance of leading others.
The functions of the club would be recreational cum educational. It may arrange tea during recess for the staff members. Its another function would be to arrange welcome and farewell parties. Its third function will be to arrange excursions and picnics on holidays. Its fourth function will be to arrange discussions on important school problems.
The head should not look upon this club with suspicion. He should occasionally attend meetings of the club. Through such informal meetings, he will learn more about the members of the staff and this will also help in cementing the bonds of friendship, goodwill and mutual understanding.

Principal and the beginning teacher:
1) Plan a conference with the teacher.
2) Establish the systems educational philosophy and practices with him.
3) Discuss the systems educational philosophy and practices with him.
4) Visit the class and hold short conferences after the observation.
5) Arrange for the beginners observation of successful and experienced teachers
6) Help him in making lesson plans
7) Give a good deal of assistance during the first term
8) Suggest pertinent educational literature.
9) Give encouragement and appreciation to him
10) Make him feel that he is capable of becoming a successful
11) Show patience with his progress.
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