This is the second post on the issue of support for teachers. In the previous post “What constitutes support for a teacher?” I set the scene that we have been re conceiving our workforce plan with the loss of 50% of our substantive leaders in the school over the last 5 weeks. Add to that context over 45% of teachers are in the first few years of teaching and we some some important issues to discuss around sustainability and improvement.
I have been putting forward a workforce plan that has two assistant principals and 3 leading teachers [the 3rd leading teacher being advertised in 2011].
I have arguing that we need resident coaches [2 assistant principals facilitate coaching themselves or release others – leading teachers – which equals 40% of their allotment] for new teachers and those practicing new instructional strategies as part of the improvement agenda.
Others on the consultative committee have different views so the defining strategy for our next meeting is to establish two main agruments and then debate the positive and negative reasoning and supportive facts around these:
The best supportive structure for classroom teachers is low class sizes.
Teachers need a range of flexible support structures for direct or indirect intervention for students and coaching for teachers best serviced by a resident leadership profile.
The crux of the argment is that by reducing all Years 3-6 classes by 3 students each and doing away with the flexible more hands on [coaching] support structures we would be better able to reach our improvement targets and sustain our current innovations.
Its an interesting set of arguments to put forward and an important one that will define the leadership roles yet to be advertised for the next 5 years.
I feel more postings to come on the issue.