QUESTION : What if we (as a school) invest in the training of staff and they eventually leave us?
FLIP-QUESTION : What if you (as a school) don’t invest in training of staff and they stay with you?
The above question and its probing flip uniquely underscore the essence of staff training for any establishment, including schools. It completely deals with the rather weak argument that training is costly to have (of course, every operational aspect of any establishment should have its rightful budget, including training), and opines that what may be more costly for an organisation is to have a demotivated and incompetent workforce.
No doubt, training has its cost implications, but it is usually a worthy investment in the long run as it affords capacity building and a whole lot of other benefits worth mentioning here:
BENEFITS OF TRAINING FOR THE TEACHING WORKFORCE
1. Training keeps staff motivated and challenged to give their best, dealing a direct blow on dissatisfaction and apathy that may creep in due to daily challenges to work and duties.
2. It keeps teachers up to date on best practices in the profession in order to realise and navigate fresh terrains in education. Not to have refresher courses at all is to become stale — less relevant and useful.
3. It makes teachers to have a higher sense of worth and to know that the school establishment really care about their personal and career development. And valued teachers will always want to do their best to deliver great value in the classroom.
4. It is an opportunity for growth regarding a subject matter as instructions come from a trainer(s) living the results of the Instructions being given.
5. It helps teachers to chart a clearer and more productive career path in the profession. In this part of the world that the career path in teaching is somewhat blurred (due to low appreciation of the teacher’s role), many more teachers can better maximise their teaching career with tips, guides and lessons gained from the right trainings.
6. It is an opportunity for group learning to reinforce the culture (reflected in mission and vision statements) of the school, with all the ideals that go with it.
7. It is an opportunity to adopt fresh strategies for more effective results. Every challenge a teacher may face at his/her duty post will require the right strategy to overcome or work around it.
8. Training affords teamwork, comradeship and peer cooperation among teachers and administrative staff, as they work together to further build and protect the image and culture of the school.
9. It prepares the teachers for bigger duties. A school owner that wants his/her teachers to further climb the ladder of responsibility must invest in training.
10. Lastly, it tends to do what one may fear it will not do: keeping valued teachers in the school. And even if some have to leave, they will do so as ‘ambassador’ of the school, having had a worthwhile career experience during their stay.
Bottom line, school owners and directors should not be so concerned about staff (they have invested in) leaving their school. You may not be able to retain the services of a teacher who is bent on changing jobs, but you can well retain the culture and ideals that your school is reputed for (which you have reinforced through constant training). The new teacher (replacing the old one) will meet that standing culture and aligns himself with it, a development that will see to the continuation of the exisitng processes and systems working for your school.
The forward thinking school owner must therefore know that the investment on training is not just for the individual staff, but for the collective image, perception and reality about the school. All things being equal, staff, training is not a lost investment.
— MD Omisore
Education Columnist and Consultant, and Author, Smart and Brilliant Writing Book Series
*PHOTO CREDIT* : 2019 Educators’ MasterClass Training organised by TREGS Consulting for teachers in Lagos. The trainers are seated in front (Omisore seated far left).