The role of a teacher is multi-dimensional and encompasses many skills, attributes and characteristics.
Looking at the typical traits below, could you possibly rank them? Would you be able to decide on a top 5 or top 10?
- Superior Verbal Communication Skills
- Research Skills
- Flexibility and Adaptability
- Critical Thinking Skills
- Analytical Ability
- Lifelong Learner
- Appropriate Judgment
- Problem Solving Techniques
- Leadership Ability
The qualities schools look for tend to be quite similar but there are some that focus on particular traits more than others. For me I’d be looking at the following:
Choosing those qualities alone, what would that say about my school and leadership style? But I can’t select 5 teachers with the same five dominant qualities. When choosing a team do you tend to look at the ‘same old, same old’ or do you purposely select different qualities so that your team is diverse and interesting?
The teams we create have to represent a range in order for it to meet the different needs of the school population. We need the problem solvers, the innovators, the ‘front of house’, the analysers, the evidence-seekers and the eccentric.
Teachers will display particular characteristics unique to them and some that are shared with their colleagues. For a truly interesting school we need interesting characters and that means avoiding people that are all the same.
But it’s not just traits we need a good mix of.
We need schools with staff that represent different cultures, ethnicities, belief systems, lifestyles and sexualities. Can there be anything worse than a school with staff that are mono-cultural, similar in age and all like the same tea?
Diversity and inclusion in schools matters. Some schools might talk the talk on diversity but seldom walk the walk.
Diversity leads to higher morale, gives you different perspectives and improves relationships. A school staff with differences are stronger because there is greater opportunity for personal and professional growth as we learn more from each other. A diverse team is more productive and performs better as different world views can inspire creativity and drive innovation.
Schools are incubators for ideas and knowledge and they thrive on diversity.
It is paramount for schools to recognise that having a diverse team is massively hugely important for their pupils in creating role-models and removing stereotypes.