A Guide to Teacher Surveys

Establishing open channels of communication between teachers and school and district leaders is critical to creating a healthy and nurturing school climate and culture. Schools at which teachers and staff feel the environment is collaborative, supportive, and professionally stimulating tend to have healthier climates, higher staff retention, and often produce better student educational outcomes.

At Panorama, we believe that building and sustaining healthy staff-leadership relationships, and creating cultures that support faculty and staff professional learning and growth, can transform school climate and improve student outcomes. In this post, we’ll explain why and how teacher surveys and staff surveys support your developing a healthier climate and culture.

Introduction to staff surveys at school

Creating a healthy climate and culture for teachers and staff at your school can feel like a complex endeavor, because there are a number of components to take into account. Generally, a few areas have been identified as critical for creating the cultures for teaching and learning that you and your staff deserve:

  • Resources and working conditions

  • Relationships between staff and leaders

  • Overall school climate

  • Professional learning and growth

  • Evaluation and feedback

While school and district administrators may have different interest areas, these topics have been identified by the National Center for Education Statistics and others as being critical to faculty and staff happiness and school success.

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What the research about staff surveys says

The National Center for Education Statistics and other organizations have created questionnaires and surveys to collect perception feedback from teachers, principals, and school staff. For thirty years and more, teacher and staff surveys have been used to provide essential feedback to school and district leaders.

Getting actionable feedback with teacher surveys

Asking staff and teachers for their feedback on critical school-level topics, including relationships, professional learning, resource, and climate, can help school and district leaders strengthen and develop their practice.

We developed the Panorama Teacher Survey to help school and district leaders learn more about their staff and teachers’ experiences in their school and with school leadership. The Panorama Teacher Survey gathers feedback in each of the areas listed above, plus many others, to provide school and district leaders with an holistic understanding of teacher and staff perceptions and experiences at school. The Panorama Teacher Survey was designed in line with the most cutting-edge thinking in survey design, and has been used in hundreds of schools around the US and world.

Choosing your teacher and staff survey questions

Based on the elements of building a healthy climate and culture for school staff outlined above, we’ve selected a number of questions from the Panorama Teacher Survey that can help school and district leaders connect with their faculty and staff in key areas.

Staff-Leadership Relationships

Perceptions of faculty and staff relationships with school leaders.

How much do your school leaders care about you as an individual?

How fairly does the school leadership treat the staff?

Professional Learning

Perceptions of the amount and quality of professional growth and learning opportunities available to faculty and staff.

At your school, how valuable are the available professional development opportunities?

How much input do you have into individualizing your own professional development opportunities?

Resources

Perceptions of the adequacy of the school’s resources.

How often do your school’s facilities need repairs?

How important is it for your school to hire more specialists to help students?

School Climate

Perceptions of the overall social and learning climate of the school.

How respectful are the relationships between staff and students?

To what extent are staff trusted to work in the way they think is best?

Evaluation

Perceptions of the system that is used to evaluate faculty and staff.

At your school, how objectively is your performance assessed?

How effective is your school’s evaluation system at helping you improve?

Next steps: resources for action

We’ve created a number of resources to support your getting feedback from your teachers and staff. Collecting this feedback can support establishing better communication between teachers and staff, as well as better environments for supporting professional development and growth.use-teacher-survey

Watch the webinar on “Using the Panorama Teacher Survey” to learn more about how to drive improvement with teacher surveys and staff surveys in your school or district. Questions? Contact us at info@panoramaed.com.

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