Friday, December 7, 2012

What Is Teacher Empowerment?

 Teacher empowerment is an important issue, especially when you reflect on what empowerment looks like in a connected/sharing society.  However, empowerment is one of those topics that can lead to misunderstandings because it can mean different things to different people.  Therefore, it helps to have a uniform understanding of what empowerment is before you can explore empowerment in your school.

So, here is my simple explanation for what it means to be empowered.

There are three essential elements to empowerment.  Without one of these, empowerment does not exist.

Element #1 - A clearly communication and understood set of goals/expectations.

Element #2 - Each person clearly understands their role and responsibility in achieving those goals or meeting (or exceeding ) expectations.

Element #3 - Anyone with any responsibility is provided to tools and resources necessary to address his/her responsibilities.

For each goal or expectation of your school, you can use these three elements to evaluate if the front line people asked to deliver critical pieces to achieving that goal are empowered to do so.

  • What are we trying to do (see vision, mission, etc.)?
  • Who are the critical players needed to do it?
  • Do those players have the resources and support needed to get it done?

If your answers follow a clear path to a final, "Yes." then you most likely have an empowered team at your school.
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