Building Teacher Trust Through Feedback & Support to Achieve the Growth
4 Behaviors of Highly Effective School Leaders
Studies have shown that trust is a key factor in teacher retention and job satisfaction. Trust is vital to building a positive school culture, developing strong teacher-admin relationships, and creating feedback cycles that generate real growth. But how do we work on building teacher trust? It's important to remember that trust is a two-way street.
To trust your teachers is to value them and believe in them; to have your teachers' trust is to provide them a confidant and a collaborator to help them along their journey of growth.
You can build trust with your teachers by putting into place simple support systems that, when done consistently with a system like Bullseye, have significant impacts on trust and rapport. Check out the 3 tips below for simple and consistent ways that you can build trust and rapport with your teachers. But before that, let's know some benefits of building teacher trust.
Benefits of Building Teacher Trust
First, it’s important to understand why building trust with your staff is key. Teachers who feel trusted are more likely to stay committed to their roles, actively contribute to school initiatives, and collaborate with peers.
Trust cultivates a sense of belonging, where teachers know their efforts are recognized and their growth is prioritized. In return, this positive environment radiates throughout the school, creating a holistic and effective learning ecosystem for staff and students.
- Enhanced Reliability: Trusting teachers promotes confidence in their capabilities and decision-making, leading to more effective classroom management.
- Open Communication: Trust encourages honest conversations around challenges and ideas, fostering innovation and improvement.
- Job Satisfaction: Teachers who feel trusted are more engaged, satisfied, and motivated to deliver their best.
- Professional Growth: Trust sets the stage for constructive feedback, aiding in targeted professional development.
- Collaborative Culture: Trust fosters a sense of community amongst teachers and administrators, promoting collective efficacy and collaborative problem-solving.
- Student Impact: A trusting environment boosts teachers' self efficacy, positively influencing student engagement and performance.
Positive Role Modeling: Teacher-administrator trust serves as a model for students, teaching them the value of trust and respect.
How Support and Feedback are Effective in Building Teacher Trust
Understanding the Role of Support and Feedback in Building Teacher Trust between teachers and administrators is foundational to a healthy school environment, and support and feedback are key elements in building this trust. Teaching is not only mentally and emotionally demanding but also incredibly challenging.
Providing support empowers teachers to be at their best for their students, while feedback ensures that students receive the highest quality instruction. When we foster growth through constructive feedback, the entire school community benefits. Let's explore the three ways to build trust with teachers.
Conduct walkthroughs using strengths-based feedback
Effective feedback isn't just about identifying areas for improvement; it's about recognizing and nurturing strengths. A strengths-based approach involves highlighting what teachers are doing well while gently addressing areas for growth. This approach fosters confidence, shows that their hard work is acknowledged, and makes feedback a constructive, growth-oriented experience.
When teachers receive feedback that acknowledges their strengths, it boosts their morale and encourages them to actively seek growth opportunities. This positive approach creates a supportive atmosphere where teachers are more open to feedback, leading to their continuous development.
Create opportunities for reflection and collaboration
Feedback, when accompanied by context, becomes more valuable. Encourage teachers to reflect on their practice by posing thoughtful questions. This not only empowers teachers to understand the 'why' behind the feedback but also invites their perspective into the feedback loop. Engaging teachers in meaningful dialogue fosters collaboration, where both teachers and administrators work together to enhance teaching practices.
By involving teachers in the feedback process, administrators convey respect for their expertise and experiences. This collaborative approach strengthens the teacher-administrator partnership, ultimately contributing to the growth of trust.
Support the teacher and the person
Trust-building extends beyond the professional realm. Teachers are going above and beyond every day for their students. It's important that we are providing them the support they need as teachers and also as individuals.
Personalized support that considers teachers as unique individuals cements trust on a deeper level. Taking the time to understand teachers' needs, aspirations, and struggles makes them feel valued, fostering a strong sense of trust.
When administrators acknowledge teachers' personal well-being, it demonstrates genuine care and concern. This empathetic approach reinforces the human connection, making teachers more willing to share their challenges and seek assistance.
How Dr. Javier Martinez Builds Trust with His Staff
At Le Grand High School, the administrative team has prioritized building a positive adult culture around observation and feedback using Bullseye. Teachers appreciate that they are receiving feedback and use it as an opportunity to collaborate with their administrators. To build this rapport, Principal Dr. Javier Martinez has focused on the following steps:
Make sure feedback is positive and focus on questions such as “I wonder...?”
Ask questions about what is happening in the lesson, which encourages teachers to respond to feedback and engage in dialogue.
Follow up after the observation for a debrief conversation, especially if the teacher is struggling, and ask questions such as “What can I do to support you?“
Final Words on Building Teacher Trust
In the world of education, trust isn't just a buzzword; it's a catalyst for growth, collaboration, and lasting positive impact. By employing the strategies mentioned above—embracing strengths, fostering collaboration, and valuing the individual—school and district leaders can cultivate a culture of trust that reverberates from classrooms to staff rooms.
If you’re looking for an easy and meaningful way to build trust with your teachers, look no further than Bullseye. Bullseye’s Instructional Support Platform offers transparent, two-way communication, collaboration, and feedback between teachers and administrators, facilitating a culture of support and continuous improvement.
With Bullseye, you can easily conduct high-quality walkthroughs, streamline feedback, and utilize data to drive differentiated professional development and coaching, all helping to build trust and foster a positive, collaborative relationship between teachers and administrators.
Remember, building trust is a journey, and every effort invested in it creates a stronger, more united educational community.