Tame a Traditional Faculty Member

Edited by Florence I. Edim, Anonymous, Rebecca M., Eng

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There will come a time when as ordinary teacher you become an administrator or an educational leader. This career transition takes a lot of maturity and training especially for the young educational leaders. That is why a part of the transition process that you have to deal with is to make sure that your faculty members are in harmony with you in the positive directions of your educational goal. You have to take care of every detail of their welfare. From mentoring the young and inexperienced ones to handling cases of inefficient faculty up to the point of taming the traditional faculty members who are resistant to change in the department. Sometimes traditional faculty members are most difficult to deal with because they are so vocal in airing their resistance to changes and sometimes they influence or shape the opinion of other faculty members to go against the path you want to lead. This may cause conflict in the department and will hamper the growth of the educational process.

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Here are some pointers to help you manage this situation:

  1. 1
    Bear in mind that the big picture is to implement the strategic directions set by the school.
    As an educational leader, although there maybe differences in opinion in the way you initiated change in your department--- the bottom line is that your mandate should be realigned to where the school wants to go and position itself in its strategic goals and objectives. Anyone who wants to deviate from this strategic direction should be guided back to the goal of the school. Just like how a shepherded attends to the lost lambs of the flock. For example, your school is eager to shift from traditional teacher centered educational learning to a more student centered Outcome Based Education. Outcome based education is when the school set a particular outcome that the student has to achieve rather than focusing the content of each subject matter taught. This means realigning the traditional syllabus used in the classroom to a more structured outcomes oriented lesson preparations. This may cause resistance and differences in opinion especially from the veterans who are comfortable to their usual routine in their traditional classroom. Although at first traditional faculty members post resistance, as administrator you have to guide them to follow the educational directions of the school by explaining to them every detail of their part of the plan. Even if you have to provide time to explain and assist them in revising their syllabus to adopt outcome based teaching and learning. They will notice your effort and persistence to assist them then they will appreciate you and eventually they will follow.
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  2. 2
    Build Alliance through Teamwork.
    You also need to examine and tame yourself to believe that implementing strategic directions will depend on how strong your team work is. If there is resistance, one way to tame the traditional is to hold them accountable to their contributions for the attainment of the school's strategic directions. Explain to them that if the department will become successful through teamwork everyone deserves a credit. But, if it fails in one way or another hold everyone accountable even yourself as educational leader. Do not point or blame the traditional faculty members instead hold everyone accountable even yourself in the failure. Then try again, until you build you harmonize your team.
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  3. 3
    Listen and Listen Very well.
    Traditional or seasoned educators are expected to express strong opinions during faculty meetings that will make them influence others as well. When you listen to them examine their intentions. If their opinion is of sound judgment then you may as well raise the issue and their concerns to the higher ups. However, if the source of resistance comes from their personal intentions then it is advisable to correct them in private consultative conversation. If you have given them the opportunity to be heard attentively then you are sending signal that you are still respecting their age and experience. Then, they will listen to you if you make final statement as a leader and the moderator of the department. I know as traditional teacher, they surpass continuous evaluation so the area of insubordination is something that you have to correct. Remember: No one is indispensable in this world.
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  4. 4
    Capitalize their strength to mentor the young and inexperienced faculty.
    This is what they love to do. They wanted to share their learning from experience and mentor the young. You can assign them as faculty heads or subject coordinators. This means you are dividing your task as a leader and at the same time you are promoting harmony in the faculty room. If sometimes their resistance is a source of your disappointment just reflect on the number of contributions that they can give to your department once you made them your allied.
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  5. 5
    Find common grounds so there will be lesser divisions in your faculty room.
    Laughter no matter where it comes from is always the best therapy of pride. Humor binds ages and conflict will be lessened if everyone is supporting each other as a family. A coffee or pizza break maybe an avenue to build the team and eventually workloads will be lighter. There are departments that set company outings or even pot lock where anyone can bring specialties and share to the department. Sometimes you can encourage them to play, watch movie together, or even to sing karaoke after office hours. This will break the tensions and you will soon realize that the differences of opinion or the resistance will be lessen if not truly eradicated.
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  6. 6
    Be a Visionary not an Approval Seeker.
    It is important that strong leadership binds differences and tames arrogance. If they see that you are a leader of good example of discipline, a communication winner and a lifelong learner you will win their confidence. As a leader you are tested by people who will really pull you down but if you are consistent with the vision or a goal to your department you will feel a sense of accomplishment in your term.
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No matter how difficult an experience is an educational leader is still on top of every situation.

Traditional Faculty Members

Traditional Faculty Members in the context of this article can be described as any of the following:

  1. 1
    View themselves as the authority of the class
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  2. 2
    Seldom accepts suggestions
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  3. 3
    Resistant to educational reforms
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  4. 4
    Uncomfortable with the use of technology in teaching
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Article Info

Categories : Communications & Education

Recent edits by: Rebecca M., Anonymous, Florence I. Edim

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