Edward Gildea has 25 years' experience as a teacher and headteacher. He is now an education consultant specialising in school leadership, change and conflict management.
Introduction A contextual overview of the reasons for tackling underperformance and guidance on delivery of the training sessions. Training Session 1: Identifying underperforming colleagues It is important that leaders and managers in school are able to share and recognise the nature of staff underperformance, and the behaviours and attitudes that are often associated with it. The 'identifying process' in this session encourages the participants to start to share experiences and talk openly. Participants will: identify and share with each other which teachers or other staff need to improve performance or professional behaviour explore their behaviours and observe some of the 'common denominators' consider what strategies such colleagues use to make themselves difficult to approach and how we might respond to those strategies. Training Session 2: Conflict and emotional response This session introduces some basic principles of conflict management: the importance of viewing conflict positively as an opportunity rather than as a form of warfare and how to cope with anger and aggression. The second part explores the emotional barriers that often prevent us from taking action or of postponing it. Participants will: consider their own insecurities and 'blockers' to taking action explore the sources of emotion in any conflict situation learn a series of fundamental steps as part of an 'emotional strategy' apply empathy to a current situation. Training Session 3: The coaching conversation This session will help leaders at all levels to develop the skills and confidence needed to discuss improvements to teaching and learning in a constructive, collaborative and coaching style. It contains a practical coaching exercise as well as a summary of the standard motivational theories. Participants will: consider what motivates colleagues acquire a technique to help motivate demotivated staff acquire and employ some 'simple and wise' questioning techniques practice a 'courageous conversation' in the coaching mode. Training Session 4: The courageous conversation in more challenging circumstances This section will help managers to develop the skills and confidence needed to negotiate improvements to teaching and learning in a style that moves from coaching to more assertive management. It focuses on the 'courageous conversation' in more challenging circumstances. Participants will: consider the transition from collaborative to directing mode practise how to give negative feedback, while staying in collaborative mode learn strategies to cope with defensiveness and denial practise how to 'negotiate for improvement' consider the role of notes, letters and written records in the process to this point consider the criteria which might indicate the need to move to formal procedures. Evaluation A customisable form is provided to support users in evaluating the impact of the training. Guidance is given in every session about next steps for development and how to measure the outcomes of the training.