Five essential focus areas for your post-COVID teacher improvement plan
As we approach the end of a very unique academic year, this is an excellent time to reflect and set goals for the rest of 2020. By implementing a teacher improvement plan centred on critical skills development and wellbeing, you can support your staff in two crucial focus areas for the post-COVID school.
The day-to-day school environment is very different from the one we stepped out of in March. Up to 95% of UK teachers are anxious about the Government’s plans to reopen more schools; and 91% are not confident about the current measures in place to protect their health, as well as students’ health and safety.
Despite this stress and uncertainty, the post-COVID teaching environment also offers plenty of potential for growth, and the opportunity to empower your staff as they return to school. Trends are shifting towards a more skills-based workforce, and going forward, teacher career progression in the UK will be driven by the ability to adapt and upskill.
The role of soft skills in the post-COVID workplace
Soft skills are one of the biggest emerging workplace trends. In fact, 92% of managers say they matter “as much or more” than hard skills. Many of the natural skills teachers use daily, like communication, adaptability and relationship-building, already form a strong foundation. As schools begin to navigate an uncertain return, expanding on these will be more vital than ever.
These are the top five soft skills in demand for 2020:
- Interpersonal skills – 54%
- Problem-solving – 48%
- Flexibility – 45%
- People management – 40%
Here are five areas for self-improvement at work to focus on in the next few months, to help take your teachers’ soft skills to the next level.
- Adopt a growth mindset
Mindset has a significant impact on how you approach new challenges and can hamper or improve your career path. A fixed mindset focuses solely on a single set of skills and performance, but a growth mindset emphasises positive learning, skill growth and persistence. Cultivating a growth mindset among your staff is crucial to thriving in a rapidly changing education landscape.
Learn about a positive mindset in 15 minutes.
- Build positive daily habits
Most teachers agree that workplace culture contributes to wellbeing. Look at the return to work as an opportunity to put some positive habits in place. The lessons your teachers learned during remote working can help with this too. Think about some of the improved communication and planning skills they gained during remote work, and encourage them to continue to use them to plan their day better, improve their time management soft skill.
Learn how to plan your day in 18 minutes.
- Create a culture of open communication
Up to 76% of school staff believe mutual support is crucial to a collaborative culture in the workplace. Only about half (52%) of FES teachers reported that their line managers provide useful feedback on their work, and 57% said they often receive recognition for a job well done. There is a need to improve the lines of communication between school staff and their managers. By working on communication skills and fostering a culture of open communication, you can ensure more teachers are receiving constructive feedback on their work, as well as the recognition they deserve.
- Build resilience – bend, don’t break
When facing stressful and uncertain times, a teacher improvement plan that builds resilience and flexibility is key to bring positivity back into the classroom. Learning how to manage stress and recover from setbacks can improve overall wellness and workplace relationships, and this is something teachers need now more than ever, and can help to aid their time and workload management. Don’t overlook this critical component of wellbeing.
- Encourage agility
Flexibility at work has never been more critical. Learning how to quickly react to change and introduce your staff to new ways of working will be an essential part of navigating post-lockdown challenges. Learning to manage your response to change will help you to become more flexible and proactive; this can help you in making the right decisions for yourself, your staff and your students.
Discover the benefits of learning new skills at work and empowering your staff to thrive in uncertain times. Find a range of trusted soft skills courses online as we enter the second half of 2020.