Teach­ers urged to de­velop cul­ture of ser­vice in the class­room

Jamaica Gleaner - - NEWS - An­dre.poyser@glean­erjm.com

MAN­AGE­MENT AND or­gan­i­sa­tional de­vel­op­ment spe­cial­ist Ca­role Rowe has urged ed­u­ca­tors to in­fuse a cul­ture of ser­vice in the teach­ing and learn­ing process.

“We must be­gin to en­able the move­ment of ser­vice into the ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem and into all our schools,” she said, while de­liv­er­ing the key­note ad­dress at the first Na­tional Sym­po­sium on the Teach­ing Pro­fes­sion put on by the Ja­maica Teach­ing Coun­cil (JTC).

Rowe chal­lenged the no­tion char­ac­ter­is­ing stu­dents as in­ter­nal cus­tomers and asked teach­ers present at the sym­po­sium to think of stu­dents as ex­ter­nal cus­tomers de­serv­ing of the high­est level of ser­vice.

Us­ing the anal­ogy of a ship be­ing raised by a loch as it goes through a canal, Rowe ar­gued that the qual­ity of stu­dents’ per­for­mance can only be raised by the qual­ity of ser­vice de­liv­ered by teach­ers.

While not­ing that the abil­ity of a teacher to de­liver con­tent is im­por­tant, she added that be­ing ser­vice fo­cused is also critical to the suc­cess of im­prov­ing stu­dent achieve­ment.

“If teach­ers be­come more ser­vice fo­cused in the class­room, it would im­prove stu­dents’ at­ti­tudes and their will­ing­ness to serve and do well ... . Teach­ers have a tremen­dous amount of power and in­flu­ence over stu­dents,” she said.

LEAD BY EX­AM­PLE

Point­ing out that ser­vice be­gins at the top, the con­sul­tant told ed­u­ca­tors at the sym­po­sium that prin­ci­pals have to lead by ex­am­ple if they want their schools to be ser­vice ori­ented.

“Prin­ci­pals have to set the tone in cre­at­ing a cul­ture that com­pels great ser­vice. The ser­vice-ori­ented prin­ci­pal is also re­quired to drive ser­vice ex­cel­lence through­out the school and this will re­sult in de­vel­op­ing and main­tain­ing ex­cep­tional re­la­tion­ships will ev­ery­one in the school,” she said.

Ac­cord­ing to Rowe, school ad­min­is­tra­tors must be­gin to see their stu­dents as clients who are de­serv­ing of ex­cep­tional ser­vice.

“To serve our stu­dents is to serve hu­man­ity. As ser­vice providers in the schools, we touch mil­lions of lives ev­ery year, and I do not be­lieve that there is any other en­tity that touches as many lives as ed­u­ca­tion,” she added.

She fur­ther ad­vo­cated for teach­ers to be­gin an epi­demic of kind­ness through ser­vice to their stu­dents.

“Just think about it, we as teach­ers can be­come weapons of mass con­struc­tion in the class­room and in the world at large be­cause we are con­struct­ing lives in the schools and what­ever we con­struct is what we get later on,” she said.

Point­ing to the ser­vice val­ues of kind­ness, lis­ten­ing, em­pa­thy, grat­i­tude, re­spon­si­bil­ity and per­sua­sion, the man­age­ment con­sul­tant asked ed­u­ca­tors to prac­tise these at ev­ery level of the ed­u­ca­tion sec­tor.

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