How to Handle Teacher Complaints #LikeABuilder 

Biggest Takeaways You Don't Want to Miss:
  • A teacher complaint is an expression of their dissatisfaction with their jobs. But, just addressing the complaint without addressing the ROOT cause of the complaint will not completely solve the problem.
  • It’s not that teachers are being ungrateful or hard to please; it’s that the factors that produce job satisfaction are separate and distinct from the factors that produce job dissatisfaction. Thus, you need to tend to both sets of factors if you want to help teachers be satisfied and happy in their jobs.  
  • Job content leads to job satisfaction. Job conditions lead to job dissatisfaction.  
  • Builders see dealing with complaints as a two-step process: The first step is to address what is causing teachers to be dissatisfied with their work. The second step is to find ways to make teachers’ work more intrinsically rewarding.  

A listener asks, “What do you do about a staff that is never satisfied. They complain about something and I fix it, but it’s still not enough. I’ve done everything for my staff, and they STILL aren’t satisfied..” It’s a pretty common issue, unfortunately. You want to move your staff forward, but they complain about some obstacle that’s in their way. So you bend over backward to try to support teachers and they still aren’t satisfied.

Well, it may not be your fault. You see, the way that we’ve been trained as leaders is to identify the challenge people are facing and remove it. Leaders, after all, are problem solvers. The problem is a lot of times when we go out of our way to make things easier for teachers, things still don’t change.

So we blame ourselves and work harder and harder trying to win them over. Or we blame them and accuse them of being lazy, ungrateful, or whiners.

But there’s something else going on underneath the surface that, if we understood it, would help us meet teachers’ needs in a way that keeps them motivated and empowered to do the work we ask of them.

That’s what Builders understand from the very beginning, and that’s why Builders don’t waste time bending over backwards trying to meet the demands of teachers and students and parents only to be met with an immediate lack of appreciation and more complaints down the line.

By the end of this episode, you’ll know exactly how to to handle teacher complaints #LikeABuilder.

Check out these highlights:
  • ​Season 3 of School Leadership Reimagined is all about the difference between being a leader and being a Builder.
  • One of the big differences between leaders and Builders is how they handle teacher complaints.
  • Why teacher complaints are a source of stress and pressure for leaders.
  • Why trying to solve teacher issues right away and bending over backward to come up with a good solution may be a waste of time.
  • Why even if you come up with a good solution, teachers may still not be satisfied.
  • The 2-step process Builders use when dealing with teacher complaints and why it works so well.
  • The secret to helping teachers become internally motivated to do their work.
  • Why the opposite of job satisfaction is NOT job dissatisfaction. 
Links mentioned in this episode:

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