DoS Management Tip – One-to-One meetings

July 10, 2010

No sniggering at the back now, but I think being a DoS is quite a difficult job…

Ok, you can stop laughing now. It’s true.

One major problem is that you only see your team when they’re not working. Teachers may tolerate the odd DoS incursion into their territory – they’ll let us play the observation game once or twice a year. But for 99% of their lessons, teachers usher their students in and slam the door behind them with a loud ‘DoS-Keep out!’ bang. So when we see them they may be doing lots of interesting and exciting things – but we rarely see them actually teaching.

So how do we find out what’s going on behind those closed doors?

Anguished cries, muffled sobs and rivulets of blood trickling under the classroom door may help us spot particularly poor teaching methods. But things are not usually quite so obvious.

The key – as ever – is communication. It’s vital to maintain regular contact with your teachers. The Manager Tools podcast have a very simple tip that – if applied – can help you do that and give you a much greater sense of what’s going on in the classrooms –

Have regular one-to-one meetings with all members of your team.

When I first heard this idea I recoiled – Where was I going to find the time to do that? However I was feeling frustrated  – I had teachers who did most of their lessons off-site – it was very difficult keeping up to date with their performance and needs.

I bit the bullet and set up monthly meetings with each teacher. Those thirty minutes slots are now the most precious moments on my calendar.

During the meeting the teachers give me feedback on their students. I can give them advice or feedback. Over time you build up a real understanding of the courses and the teachers.

A few tips if you want to introduce them –

  • Keep the meetings as positive as possible
  • Take notes – it’s invaluable when it comes to planning the next meeting
  • Respond to what you hear – if a teacher has a problem and you can help – do so. It will encourage the teacher to come to you with more issues in later meetings.

Teachers seem to appreciate the chance to talk about their courses and teachers. The meetings are a great way to build rapport. It also makes you a more effective manager. Give it a try for the next academic year!

Here’s a link to the Manager Tools podcast – http://www.manager-tools.com/

Does anyone have any tips on how to make these meetings more effective?

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