This study contains five chapters and begins with Chapter 1.
- Chapter 1, includes: the Background of study; perceived problem, Diagnosis, Evidence and Causes; Statement of Problem; Purpose of study; Research Objectives; research questions and significance of Study.
- Chapter 2 presents a review of the appropriate literature.
This comprise: Introduction; conceptual analysis; Aspects of the Problem under investigation and Training Model.
- Chapter 3 describes the methodology used to examine the perceptions of administrators and teachers on how team building activities improve performance in the school.
- Chapter 4 contains Results and Discussions of Pre and Post- Intervention Results.
- Chapter 5 provides recommendations for future research, the conclusion, and a summary of the study.
BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Team building and its ability to impact teacher performance at work or related topics have been topics researchers have considered for many years and continue to be important in schools across the country. Researchers have revealed that high teacher commitment to work improves academic performance and overall teacher health (McCarthy, 2002).
However, teacher commitment to work could decline over time if the morale of the teacher is attacked by ailing relationships the teacher may have with colleague teachers, superiors or even students. According to McCarthy, it could happen so subtly that teachers might not be fully aware of the decline. Reasons for this decline could include: the Teacher being isolated from his or her peers, low salary, parent teacher conflict, or classes with many discipline issues or low-achieving students.
If these issues persist over a longer period of time, teachers might become frustrated or tired and experience job burnout. Such situations could wear away their enthusiasm for teaching, which could affect their productivity and quality of teaching.
Team building stresses the involvement of all staff in educational improvement. The principle behind this style is that involvement of staff results in ownership, and as ownership is developed, people easily cooperate in decision making. This study on the Soe Senior High School may be useful in assessing the influence of team building on the performance of staff.
Teacher commitment to work has a strong bearing on students’ achievement. Ellenberg (1972) discovered that, “where teacher morale was high, elementary schools showed an increase of student achievement” (p. 3).
One way to improve teacher commitment thereby leading to improved academic performance is through team building among the school Staff members. Achieving academic success in the school takes more than one individual teacher working towards goals for his or her students in the classroom. It takes a team of staff and administrators working together to accomplish the many tasks of the school. School teams might work on termly decision making, school development plans and Academic reforms, implementing new programs and teaching strategies, or restructuring existing ones (Peterson,1995). Teaching is more challenging than ever.
Through team-building activities, administrators find more innovative ways to help teachers come together as a group and work together to achieving a common goal. Team building establishes good practices and supports that assure teacher cohesion, effectiveness, and continuity. Such practices include sharing goals, clearly defining roles, establishing trust, self-disclosure, good communication, rewards, recognition, and training (Team Building, 2007).
The case of Soe Senior High School (SHS) where management seems to be working in isolation from teachers and individual teachers appearing to be working independent of others is considered unfavourable for effective teaching, learning and academic improvement. This type of work environment does not encourage professional interactions and relationships with the exception of weekly staff meetings.
Interaction among the teachers frequently consist of quick conversations during lunch, Encounters in the staff common room, and planning periods. The top-down decision making contributes to conditions that make it difficult for teachers to work collaboratively with other teachers and management.
Benton and Bulach (1995), see team building as a major component in improving the performance of a school. They identified the areas needing the most improvement and then introduced team-building techniques. The entire staff was involved in these activities. Community and curriculum teams were established. The end results revealed gains in all the areas deemed important. These findings indicate the need for further study in the area of team building.
As a result, this research is aimed at creating a non-traditional approach (Action Oriented) to in-service staff training on team work aiming at improving Teacher- management and collaboration which will eventually improve commitment and performance in the Soe Senior High School.
Many teachers of Soe SHS started becoming disgruntled with the various roles they play in the school. My observation as well as interaction with the teachers started revealing that, many teachers felt neglected and isolated from the decision making processes, its implementation was merely forced on them. This phenomenon led to the inability of teachers to give off their best hence the dwindling academic fortunes of the school. The perceived problem in this case is the lack of Team work in the school which is seen to be impacting negatively on academic performance.
Diagnosis: The situation in Soe SHS become so prevalent that by merely observing I could see the discontentment which existed among the teachers. By talking to the teachers too it became very clear that they field neglected and wearied by the tasks they ware required to perform.
Evidence: it became evidently clear that, teachers were no longer cooperating with the school authorities or management; many will only restrict themselves to the classroom without recourse to any co- curricular activity. In many instances Teachers would object to the implementation of certain policy decisions, and in the process accuse authorities of their non- involvement in arriving at such decisions.
What is more glaring is the downward trend in the school’s performances over recent years, example the school’s performance at the past three years were as follows: 78% in 2015, 62% in 2016 and 48% in 2017 this performance according to the researcher are attributable to the lack of team work in the school.
The lack of team work in the school can also be said to have degenerated into serious indiscipline issues in the school,
Causes: the lack of team work in the school can be attributed to the lack of team building skills, the non awareness of the fact that team work will enhance productivity and performance through synergy is also a reason for its non-existence. The indiscipline problem stems from the fact that, students exploit the disunity of the staff and administration to misbehave.
Throughout my teaching at Soe Senior High School in the Bongo District, I saw many teachers complain of isolation or neglect from key decision making and how discouraged they have become, they attributed that to their non-involvement in deciding and implementing the core businesses of the school. their complains mainly were that, they did not have the support of the administrators as well as the collaboration of colleague teachers but on the contrary, they did have complaining parents, stress, high class enrolment and better job opportunities in other fields of employment.
The teachers would often complain that, they were not appreciated for the work they did and the long hours they put in. They said they were not a part of the decision making process of the school. These prevailing situations are perceived to have impacted on the declining commitment of such teachers towards work, there by hampering academic performance in the school.
Each year, expectations on teachers and their workloads increase. Teachers may experience low morale because their daily work life often includes long periods of isolation from their peers. Teachers spend most of their day interacting with their students. Factors such as the layout of a school campus, teachers working alone in their classrooms, and scheduling constraints make finding time to talk and work with other teachers almost impossible. This could cause teachers to feel disconnected and for that matter loose their commitment (Bennett; LeCompte, 1990).
The question to ask is what has accounted for the non-collaboration of administration and staff members? To what extent has the non-collaboration impacted on teacher commitment and academic performance? And how can team building serve as a remedy to the situation.
It is against this backdrop that, I set out to research into the situation and come out with measures that will promote effective team work and how that will enhance staff commitment resulting into academic performance.
PURPOSE OF STUDY
The purpose of this study is to develop series of activities geared towards rectifying the lack of team work in Soe SHS and its attendant problems. It is to influence team building among the staff of Soe SHS aimed at improving teamwork leading to better academic performance.
This work is intended as the bases for a team building model to provide administrators and teachers with a guide for implementing sound team-building activities into inservice training and throughout the school year. It will highlight the best practices for implementing team building and how these practices can encourage teachers to have a more positive outlook on their profession.
The Main Objectives
This research seeks to establish the relationship between Team work and Teacher performance in Soe Senior High School, with the aim of improving Academic performance.
The Specific objectives are to:
- Describe the communication and relational challenges that exist in the school between and among Teachers and management.
- Determine how the relational problems of staff impact on their commitment to work and academic performance.
- Ascertain the extent to which teacher commitment affects academic performance.
- To establish that building team work will improve teacher commitment.
- To demonstrate that building Team work among staff will promote academic work.
- To design Team building models and carrying out training on teambuilding for members of staff.
The main research question for this qualitative study is: In what way do Team-building activities influence teacher commitment and Academic performance in Soe Senior High School?
The sub- research questions to be addressed in this study are:
- What are the communication and relational challenges that exist in the school between and among Teachers and management?
- How do the relational problems of staff impact on their commitment to work?
- To what extent does teacher commitment affects academic performance in Soe SHS?
- To what extent will building team work improve teacher commitment to work in Soe SHS?
- How will the building of Team work among staff promote academic work in Soe SHS?
- What Training model will enhance teambuilding activities among staff?
SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY
The significance of this study is to extend current research on team building in schools to improve teacher commitment by focusing on the relationships between management and teachers and among teachers on the best practices of team building. By gathering and analysing the views of management and teachers, this study provides some perceived Strengths and weaknesses of proven team-building techniques that can contribute to enhanced teacher commitment to work and teacher job satisfaction both within and outside the school.
Team building is important not only for the immediate experience of the activities undertaken by the team but also for the group skills, communication, and bonding that results from it. The team building activities are the means to that end (Dee, 2007). Team building activities provide realistic experiences that empower individuals to contribute to common goals. The main goals of team building in the school system are to:
Improve motivation, Improve relationships and communication, Identify a team’s strengths and weaknesses, and to do away with barriers that prevent creativity.
As a result this study seeks to improve teacher commitment and academic performance in Soe SHS in particular and all schools and other workplaces in general may benefit from this study.
Finally, the study will contribute to the body of knowledge and theory by its findings. At the end of the study, it will be established as to the relationship that exists between Team work and Teacher commitment as well as how that impacts on Academic performance.
OPERATIONAL DEFINITIONS OF TERMS
- Management – Those who are responsible for the day to day running of the school like the Headmaster, assistants, senior house masters and the likes.
- Teacher – A person employed by the Government or the school to guide and direct the learning experiences of students in an official educational setting. This person successfully completed a professional curriculum from an accredited teaching institution and held a teaching certificate (Encarta, 2007).
- Team Building – An effort to improve communication and working relationships by managed change involving a group of people. Team building is “improving performance by developing team working skills by using any appropriate method” (Team-wise, 2008, p.1).
- teacher commitment: the dedication of a teacher to his core duties such as regular school attendance, teaching effectively, participating in co-curricular activities and the likes
- Teamwork – Defined as “two or more people working together toward a common goal” (Snell & Janney, 2005, p. 6).