Discuss how the views contained in the case study given in the image could be applied in practice to the teaching staff at a school or college.

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I think that the elements of the case study are in wide practice at many workplace settings.  This extends into teaching staff at schools and colleges. The basic premise of administration asking teaching staff for insight and then disregarding their contributions with silence and a noticeable absence of leadership is quite common.  The case study is relevant and the lessons from it are quite meaningful.

I think that one aspect of the case study that can be applied to teaching staffs and colleges would be the development of a faculty senate.  A faculty senate can be a group of elected representatives of the teaching staff that can voice concerns to the administration.  The faculty senate would be able to speak the words of the teaching staff at a school or college.  They would be a force of voice and potential negotiation.  For example, in the case study, a faculty senate would be a place where those lecturers who felt completely silenced by administration could voice their opinions. The establishment of a faculty group that can speak the voice of teachers could help to provide "responsibility for a well- defined task," according to Bob Nelson, and establish "the expectation that people are competent to make decisions about their work every single day on the job," according to Heathfield.

Another approach that can be taken from the case study is the need to validate employees.  Consider the words of the lecturer as a result of the President's silence:  "We heard nothing back- no feedback, no thanks, and no decisions made on our recommendations.  I would not do it again if I was asked."  This lack of respect and personal regard resonates both on the professional level and on the interpersonal one, as well.  The lesson from this case study is that employee validation comes as a result of feeling that they are a part of something that represents "growth and development."  The President failed to provide such validation as a result of his silence and absence of leadership.  For teaching institutions, it is essential that management develop the means to create "growth and development" in a valid manner.  This can come in the form of career advancement or even leadership amongst colleagues that is worthwhile and valid.  In the end, it comes down to how one is treated and the need for interpersonal relationships to be of respect and mutual trust.  Teachers and professors are expected to display such behaviors with their students.  It is only logical that their administrators display the same behaviors to them in the workplace setting.

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