Good Relationship Between Head Teachers And Teachers Education Essay

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Teachers and head teachers play an imperative role in upholding and improving education standards in learning institutions. Head teachers are charged with the responsibility of overseeing the day-to- day operations of a school. Teachers on the other hand are very instrumental when it comes to imparting knowledge, discipline, beliefs and values to students. Over the years, a number of research studies have established a connection between high education performance among students and good relationship between head teachers and teachers. Thus it is evident that a good relationship between head teachers and teachers promotes a conducive learning environment that can lead to good performance amongst students. Basically, a healthy relationship between teachers and head teachers is one that is characterized by mutual respect, collaboration, trust and a common goal. In order for this to be actualized, it is important for head teachers to build a platform whereby teachers can learn new skills, communicate about issue that affect them and eventually get motivation to perform their duties unreservedly (Harris, Day & Hadfield p 67).

The purpose of this study is to investigate how good relationships between head teachers and teachers can lead to success and better performance amongst students. Several relevant literatures will be reviewed to establish the various factors revolving around good relationships between head teachers and teachers. Furthermore, the reviewed literature will establish how good relationships between head teachers and teachers can lead to success and better performance amongst students particularly in primary schools. This study will explore various conceptual frameworks with regards to good relationships between head teachers and teachers. In order to gather data on the relationships between head teachers and teachers, several questionnaires were distributed to head teachers and four teachers in two primary schools in Saudi Arabia. The results of these questionnaires will be conveyed in this study, thereafter this study will provide a discussion based on the findings of these questionnaires.

Literature Review

According to Mulkeen (2010, p108), head teachers are the senior leaders and managers of schools and thus they play an imperative role in the functioning of schools. Head teachers are expected to take responsibility in the overall management of the school this includes, managing teachers. Mulkeen notes that, too often head teachers tend to focus on external matters such as the schools communications with the education ministry instead of managing the operations of the school. This in turn causes them to be absent from school and as result certain issues affecting teachers are left unaddressed. Recent studies show that the rate of absentness amongst head teachers is relatively high as compared to that of teachers. The effective leadership of a headmaster positively influences the performance of both the teachers and students. On the other hand, ineffective leadership on the part of a head teacher can bring about disarray in educational goals and poor performance for both teachers and students (Mulkeen 108).

Indeed leadership is fundamental aspect in the vocation of head teachers. The form of leadership style that they exercise in their daily running of schools directly determines whether they will have good or bad relationships with teachers. In the book "Primary teacher's stress," the authors of this books, Troman and Wood (2001, p 61) explain that the phenomenon of teacher bullying is widespread in schools. A website study investigating issues with regards to bullying in the workplace indicated that 20% of the reported bullying cases in the workplace involved teachers. A third of the number of teachers involved in these surveys revealed that they were victimized by head teachers. Some head teachers are known to employing bullying and other form of tyrannical leadership styles with the aim of forcing teachers to discharge their duties accordingly. However, studies show that teachers who are mistreated or bullied in their workplaces tend to lack motivation to do their work and as a result their level of productivity is wanting, this in turn affects the performance of students in their academic work (Troman & Wood 62). Troman and Wood (2001, p 63) further demonstrate that in cases of bullying teachers and head teachers are involved in a strong emotional relationship and the thus the quality of relationship between the head teachers and teachers influences the teaching practice (Troman & Wood 63).

In reference to the sentiments of Green (2004, p 235), the leadership styles used in the headship of a school determines the kind of relationship that head teachers have with teachers and the performance outcomes of teachers and students. Basically, there are six main options of leadership styles that can yield varied results that either influence the performance of teachers and students positively or negatively. These styles of leadership include, authoritative, affiliative, coaching, pace setting and democratic. Based on this hypothesis it is evident that the leadership styles employed by head teachers determines the sought of relationship that they will have with teachers and other subordinates. It is therefore worth questioning what kind of leadership should head teachers use to ensure that they have good relationships with teachers? (Green 235).

A study commissioned by the National Association of Head teachers (NAHT) sought to establish the perspectives of both teachers and head teachers on effective school leadership. The findings of this study depicted that effective school leadership in the perspective of teachers entails the head teacher's ability to form good relationships with teachers. Head teachers should be aware of the needs of teachers and they should take part in addressing the various issues that affect teachers. According to Harris, Day& Hadfield (2003, p 67) teachers accentuate that they value their professional and personal relationship with the head teachers. Most teachers prefer a relationship with head teachers that will enable them to freely communicate with the head teachers concerning any issue revolving around their work. Harris, Day& Hadfield observe that a good relationship between the head teachers and teachers is characterized by mutual respect, understanding and trust. Despite the fact that the head teachers are professionally superior to teachers, they should not use their authority to undermine or disrespect teachers. Instead they should foster a conducive work environment whereby teachers can be able to express themselves freely and grow professionally. On the other hand, teachers should also model ways in which they can work and build mutual respect and trust with their superiors, in this case head teachers (Harris, Day& Hadfield 67).

Harris, Day& Hadfield (2003, p 67) further recommend that in order to establish a good relationship between head teachers and teachers, head teachers should embrace the contributions of teachers and show that their efforts and contributions are highly valued. In return teachers should be willing to be supportive towards the efforts of the head teachers. Moreover, a healthy work relationship between teachers and head teachers is one that enables and promotes the development of the teacher's career. The development of the teacher's career may sometimes change the type of relationship between head teachers and the teachers. As teachers gain more experience and skill in their career they become more confident in the articulation of their duties. According to the findings of a study commissioned by the National Association of Head teachers (NAHT), during the first years of their profession, a good number of teachers are often afraid of the head teachers thus their relationship with the head teachers is characterized by apprehension. In these instances teachers avoid seeking for help from the head teachers when they encounter difficulties (Harris, Day& Hadfield 67). However, as they gain more experience, skills and knowledge most teachers tend to have friendly associations with the head teachers and hence they can seek for guidance and support from the head teachers. Based on the findings of this study, it is evident the development of teacher's career can promote good relationship between them and the head teachers. Therefore head teachers should provide learning opportunities that will allow teachers to advance in their careers. Head teachers should anticipate and find ways of addressing the arising demands. Head teachers should prioritize on forming good relationships with teachers as this will inevitable contribute success and better performance amongst students (Avi-Itzhak & Ben-Peretz 231).

Recent research studies have shown that good relationship between teachers and head teachers is an imperative aspect when it comes to determining the effectiveness and success of schools. Researchers have identified that in successful school, teachers have a positive professional and personal relationship with head teachers. Moreover, in high performing and successful schools head teachers provide teachers with a platform to communicate on issues that affect them and opportunities to develop their careers as teachers (Thoms 196).

Conceptual Framework

The conceptual framework of this study is based on the assumption that the kind of leadership and motivation strategy employed by school head teachers determines whether or not they have good relationships with teachers. Consequently, the relationship between head teachers and teachers influences the performance of students in schools. Thus good relationships between head teachers and teachers can lead to success and improved academic performance amongst students. Klug (1989) observes that school leaders can determine the motivation amongst teachers by modifying the instructional climate at school. This will in turn determine the attitude of both teachers and students towards education. By efficiently prioritizing on their relationship with teachers head teachers can increase the motivation of students and teachers and directly impact the performance of students (Klug 19).

Fredrick Herzberg's theory of motivation further draws a solid conceptual framework for this study. According to Herzberg, there are particular factors in the work environment that lead to quality performance and job satisfaction. At the same time there are certain factors that can bring about poor performance and job dissatisfaction. With reference to the sentiments of Hezerberg, when individuals in a work place are not satisfied with the working conditions they are bound to be less motivated and thus their productivity at work will be affected. Most employees are in search for gratification in terms of recognition, respect, appreciation, responsibility, the nature of their work and advancement. When these conditions are dully met in a work environment employee will feel motivated to give their best in their jobs and as a result pleasant results will be actualized (Oshagbemi 354).

Herzberg recommends a two factor model of motivation based on aspects such as the certain characteristics that contribute to the satisfaction of employees at work and other characteristics that contribute to employee dissatisfaction at work. Therefore according to Herzberg both satisfying and dissatisfying characteristics are not in a scale with one increasing as the other diminishes rather these characteristics are independent phenomena's. Herzberg's theory suggests in order for productivity to be enhanced in workplaces, administrators should recognize and address both the satisfying and dissatisfying characteristics. Administrators should not presume that the increase in satisfying factors will inevitably decrease the unsatisfying factors (King 18).

The kind of leadership style exercised by schools head teachers determines whether or not they will have good relationships with teachers. Leadership styles can be regarded as the manner in which a person in authority leads. The kind of leadership exercised by school head teachers is reflected on how they communicate with teachers, how they exercise their authority and power, this in turn affects teachers and students. Moreover, the leadership styles articulated by school head teachers influences they way in which they command and motivate teachers to realize the set academic goals. The manner in which school head teachers lead determines if they can effectively motivate teachers and maintain positive relationships with them. The main indicator of effective leadership is the level of motivation that teachers have to diligently have to carry out their duties. In order for teachers to feel motivated to carry out their duties head teachers have to maintain good relationships with teachers. Thus head teachers should not only give priority to realizing high educational accomplishments but they should also give priority to maintain good interpersonal relationships with teachers. School head teachers should shun from using autocratic forms of leadership rather they should employ leaderships that will promote good relations between them and teachers , they should also exercise leadership styles that will motivate teachers to perform their duties with zealousness (Seashore &Taber 346).

On the other hand, the reaction of teachers to the leadership of their head teachers depends on the characteristics and values of the teachers. Given the fact tat relationships are two way , teachers also have the obligation of maintaining good relationships with head teachers. According to Seashore and Taber (1975, p 346), the productivity in a work environment is determined by the state of the internal organizational environment characterized by personnel relationship and leadership styles. Teachers are often satisfied with head teachers who are supportive and considerate. A study conducted by Keashly et al (1994, p341) revealed that negative relationship between leaders and employees largely contributes increased absenteeism and reduced productivity (Keashly 341). Basically, the conceptual frame work of this study accentuates that the kind of leadership and motivation strategy employed by school head teachers determines whether or not they have good relationships with teachers. Consequently, the relationship between head teachers and teachers influences the performance of students in schools. Based on this theoretical framework, it is apparent that when head teachers maintain positive relationships with teachers schools are bound to be successful (Klug 19).

Methodology

In this study questionnaires were used as the primary source of collecting data. Questionnaires were preferred due to their suitability for this study, questionnaires enabled the researcher to collect information from a large sample within a short time. The use of questionnaire in this study incurred less costs and time as compared to other methods of data collection. Furthermore, the use of questionnaires in this study ensured confidentiality and as a result respondents were at ease to give honest, candid and objective responses.

For this study questionnaires were prepared and distributed to two head teachers and four teachers in two primary schools in Dharan City, Saudi Arabia. The questionnaires largely incorporated closed ended and few open ended questions. The closed ended questions required either the teachers or the head teachers in these schools to reply by marking the relevant multiple choices provided as; always, sometimes, never. On the other hand the open ended questions required the respondents to briefly state their opinion regarding the matter in question. Prior to issuing the questionnaires to the various respondents, the researchers explained to the respondents the purpose and aims of the study. Respondents were encouraged to give honest, candid and objective responses.

The questionnaires distributed to the four teachers in the various primary schools had five main sections. The first section consisted of one open ended question and three closed ended questions geared towards evaluating whether the head teachers of the alleged schools helped teachers to develop their careers by providing opportunities that will enable teachers to learn new skills and have new experiences. The second section of the questionnaires distributed to teachers comprised of five closed ended questions and one open ended question geared towards evaluating whether the head teachers of the alleged schools encouraged collaboration amongst themselves and teachers with regards to decision making , educational processes and displinary matters. The third section of the questionnaires comprised of four closed ended questions and one open ended question geared towards evaluating whether the head teachers of the alleged schools build communication processes characterized by trust. The fourth section of the questionnaires comprised of four closed ended questions and one open ended question geared towards evaluating whether the head teachers employed strategies to motivate the teaching staff. The fifth section of the questionnaire comprised of one open ended question assessing the effectiveness of the head teacher's leadership.

The questionnaires distributed to the two head teachers in the various primary schools had five main sections. The first section assessed whether the head teachers helped teachers to develop in their careers. The second section assessed whether the head teachers encouraged collaboration between them and teachers with regards to educational processes and decision making. The third section assessed whether the head teachers build trustful communication processes that enable teachers to share their ideas and convey their grievances. The fourth section of the questionnaire section assessed whether the head teachers employ strategies geared towards motivating the teaching staff. The final section of the questionnaire sought to find out the challenges that head teachers encounter in their relationships with teachers and how they address these challenges.

Notwithstanding the benefits of using questionnaires, the use of questionnaire in this study had certain limitations. For instance the format of the distributed questionnaires made it difficult for the researcher to examine complex opinions and issues. Even in cases whereby open ended questions were used, the respondents were limited such that they could not outline certain issues in a holistic manner. This in turn made it difficult for the researchers collect in-depth details.

Results

The first section of the questionnaire issued to teachers evaluated whether the head teachers of the alleged schools helped teachers to develop their careers by providing opportunities that will enable teachers to learn new skills and have new experiences. With regards to the question on whether the head teachers helped teachers to take advantage of opportunities to learn new skills all the four teachers issued with the questionnaire, responded that "sometimes" the head teachers helped then to take advantage of the opportunities to learn new skills. With regards to the question on whether the head teachers help teachers to take advantage of opportunities for new experiences all the four teachers issued with the questionnaire, responded that "sometimes" the head teachers helped then to take advantage of the opportunities for new experiences. With regards to the question on whether the head teacher looked for ways to help teachers become more successful, two teachers responded by saying "always" whereas the remaining two responded using "sometimes." The last question in this section sought to find out the areas that the teachers thought are the most important areas that the head teacher should improve in developing teachers. Most of the teachers responded that attend instructional courses is one of the most important areas that head teachers should address in order to develop teachers.

The second section of the questionnaire issued to teachers sought to evaluate whether the head teachers of the alleged schools encouraged collaboration between them and teachers. With regards to the questions on whether the head teachers met teachers every month, listened to the opinions and suggestions of the teachers on educational process and build cooperation with teachers all the four respondents answered that "sometimes" this happened. With regards to the question on whether the head teachers involved teachers in decision making two out of four teachers responded that "sometimes" they are involved whereas the remaining respondents answered that they are "never" involved in decision making. With regards to the question that sought to find out what head teachers should do in order to encourage collaboration, most teachers recommended that head teachers should involve the teaching staff in decision making.

The third section of the questionnaire issued to teachers sought to assess whether head teachers build trustful communication process that enable teachers to communicate what is on their mind. Three out of four teachers confirmed that their head teachers" never" build trustful communication processes. It is only one out of four of the examined teachers who confirmed that their head teachers "always" build trustful communication processes. All the four examined teachers responded that the head teachers "always" believed that trust is the foundation for successful collaboration. All the four examined teachers also responded the head teachers in their alleged schools "never" walk the talk. With regards to the final questing in this section that sought to determine the most important steps that the head teachers should take in order to improve trust. Most teachers recommended that the head teachers should mandate teachers with tasks that will help building trust.

The fourth section of the questionnaire issued to teachers sought to assess whether head teachers employ strategies geared towards motivating their teaching staff. The findings of this questionnaire established that all of the examined teachers, felt that sometimes the head teacher employed strategies to motivate them. With regards to the question on the most important areas that the teachers thought that the head teachers should motivate teachers, most teachers responded that the head teacher must estimate innovators works for teachers. The fifth section of the questionnaires issued to teachers sought to establish whether teachers though that the leadership exercised by head teachers was successful. Most teachers said yes because the head teachers in their alleged schools build cooperation and trust between them and teachers. In addition, the head teachers showed the teachers respect.

The findings of the questionnaires issued to head teachers indicated that the head teachers sometimes took advantage of opportunities to develop the careers of teachers. The two examined head teachers identified instructional courses as the most important area that required improvement when it comes to developing teachers. The findings of the questionnaires issued to head teachers also indicated that sometimes the head teachers encouraged collaboration amongst themselves and teachers with regards to matters such as decision-making, displinary matters and educational processes. In the questionnaires, the head teachers indicated that the most important areas for improvement with regards to collaboration revolved around decision-making. The finding of these questionnaires also depicted that sometimes the head teachers build trustful communication processes that enable teachers to say what is on their mind. According to the responses of the two head teachers, the most important area that requires improvement when it comes to building trustful communication processes is decision making. The head teachers recommended that teachers should be committed and involved in decision- making. Moreover, the findings of the questionnaires issued to the two head teachers established that sometimes the head teachers employed motivational strategies geared towards motivating the teaching staff. The head teachers recommended that they should create social activity between the teaching staff so as to improve the motivation of teachers at work. One of the key challenges that the head teachers encounter in their relationship with the teachers is the lack of enough teaching staff and as a result, they face challenges when it comes to equally distributing work.

Discussion

Good relationship between head teachers and teachers is imperative since it determines whether a school system experiences success on its educational goals. Among the key elements that contribute to good relationships between head teachers and teachers include the leadership style that a head teacher uses in the school environment or the motivational strategies that the head teacher employs so as to motivate the teaching staff. According to (Seashore &Taber 346), the kind of leadership exercised by school head teachers is reflected on how they communicate with teachers, how they exercise their authority and power, this in turn affects teachers and students. Moreover, the leadership styles articulated by school head teachers influences they way in which they command and motivate teachers to realize the set academic goals. The manner in which school head teachers lead determines if they can effectively motivate teachers and maintain positive relationships with them. The main indicator of effective leadership is the level of motivation that teachers have to diligently have to carry out their duties. In order for teachers to feel motivated to carry out their duties head teachers have to maintain good relationships with teachers.

The findings of the issued questionnaires depict that in the two schools whereby the study was conducted the relationship between the head teachers and teachers is relatively good. This is mainly because based on these findings, it is evident that the head teachers employ leadership styles that to some extent enable teachers to develop in the careers and also take part in the decision making process. Moreover, these finds depict that to some extent the head teachers employ motivational strategies that aim at motivating the teaching staff. For instance, With regards to the question on whether the head teachers helped teachers to take advantage of opportunities to learn new skills all the four teachers issued with the questionnaire, responded that "sometimes" the head teachers helped then to take advantage of the opportunities to learn new skills. With regards to the questions on whether the head teachers met teachers every month, listened to the opinions and suggestions of the teachers on educational process and build cooperation with teachers all the four respondents answered that "sometimes" this happened. In addition the finding of this study established that the head teachers in these schools to a certain extent used motivational strategies in order to motivate its staff. This shows that the head teachers in these schools employ certain strategies that promote good relationships between them and teachers.

Nevertheless, there is still room for improvement. The case examples of the two primary schools in Dharan City, Saudi Arabia provide a good example of the nature of relationships between head teachers and teachers and how these relationships can be improved. For instance based on the finding of this study , in order for good relationships to be fostered between head teachers and teachers it essential for head teachers to help teachers take advantage of opportunities for new experiences and opportunities to learn new skills. Harris, Day& Hadfield (2003, p 67) observe that a healthy work relationship between teachers and head teachers is one that enables and promotes the development of the teacher's career. The development of the teacher's career may sometimes change the type of relationship between head teachers and the teachers. As teachers gain more experience and skill in their career they become more confident in the articulation of their duties (Harris, Day& Hadfield p 67).

Moreover, in order for head teachers to establish good relationships with teachers, it is essential for head teachers to create a conducive work environment that will allow teachers to be involved in the decision making process and also a work environment that enable teachers to communicate freely about their opinions and ideas. Additionally, head teachers should employ motivational strategies such as creating social activities for the teaching staff, with the aim of motivating the teaching so that they can enhance their performance.

Conclusion

The purpose of this study was to establish how good relationships between head teachers and teachers can lead to success and better performance amongst students. Through a review of several relevant literatures, this study established that the form of leadership style that head teachers exercise in their daily running of schools directly determines whether they will have good or bad relationships with teachers. Furthermore, most of the reviewed literatures recommended that head teachers should prioritize on forming good relationships with teachers as this will inevitable contribute success and better performance amongst students. The conceptual framework of this study was based on the assumption that the kind of leadership and motivation strategy employed by school head teachers determines whether or not they have good relationships with teachers. Consequently, the relationship between head teachers and teachers influences the performance of students in schools.

In this study, questionnaires were used as the main methods of collecting data. These questionnaires were distributed to two head teachers and four teachers in two primary schools in Dharan City, Saudi Arabia. The findings of these questionnaires depicted that in the two schools whereby the study was conducted the relationship between the head teachers and teachers is relatively good. However, there is still room for improvement for instance in order to establish better relationships with teachers, the head teachers in these schools should a conducive work environment that will enable teachers to be involved in the decision making process, develop in their careers and also a work environment that enable teachers to communicate freely about their opinions and ideas.

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