Building culture of trust key to effective school leadership
- The idea of trust is a complicated issue, but building a culture of trust in which faculty and staff can trust one another is essential to school effectiveness, according to eSchool News.
- Research indicates that schools with a high degree of trust are more likely to change in ways that improve student achievement.
- School staff can measure their degree of trust by considering their level of respect for one another, their reliance in the competence of their peers, their personal regard for one another, and their belief in their own integrity and the integrity of others.
A school is more than just a place where learning occurs. In many ways, a school functions as an organism dependent on its individual members to accomplish its purpose. The most effective schools are those in which school leaders have created a sense of trust among teachers and staff. On the other hand, lack of trust creates a dysfunctional system that serves its students ill.
This development of trust is one key component that is missing from many school improvement plans even though it is essential to moving forward. If teachers feel that they cannot trust their peers or school leaders to support them and to do their own jobs well, then little can be accomplished. It is up to school administrators to make sure that staff members are worthy of trust and then to help foster that sense of trust among them so that the school functions as a team to best serve students.
The impact of building a culture of trust among teachers can trickle down to students and parents. Parents need to be able to trust schools. The community needs to be able to trust schools. And students, most of all, need to be able to trust their teachers. A recent study indicated that students of color are less likely to attend college if they lose trust in teachers. Schools need to be able to build student trust if they are to accomplish their primary goal: the education of students. However, teachers cannot effectively foster that sense of trust in students if they do not trust one another. Trust is a fragile thing, but it is a powerful thing as well.