As the developed world quickly expands in size and technology, developing populations are falling behind in basic needs, such as education. A higher quality and more focused type of education is critically needed for these populations in order “to manage the meager resources under their control” and “to create opportunities for securing a livelihood or building wealth” (Epstein & Yuthas, 2012). Organizations like UNICEF, UNESCO, and Teach for All are making strides for these developing populations, but I propose a different approach alongside these. One part of this new approach is to incentive parents, thereby increasing a student’s attendance. The first step to incentivize parents is to bring teachers on board to increase their productivity and effectiveness with students so that parents see heightened results from their children’s attendance.

Job Satisfaction

Producing a higher level of job satisfaction will directly correlate to a greater organizational commitment and lead to less turnover among teachers (Colquitt, LePine, & Wesson, 2016). Several of the job satisfaction factors are institutional and beyond the scope of this project at its outset; for example, pay satisfaction will be difficult to increase without restructuring the local education budget or providing an outside stipend for teachers. Satisfaction with the work itself, however, is manageable in that I can directly affect the variety and significance of the work itself. By altering the variety of the job, the teachers experience “novel, challenging experiences” which increases dopamine levels (Colquitt et al., 2016). In the job’s significance, improved test scores from students leading to increased classroom time throughout the school year will provide teachers with a sense that their society and economy are better off as a result of their teaching.

Stress

Stress is a universal concept, affecting populaces of developed and developing countries alike. In developing countries, however, the methods of coping may not be the same as certain strategies are readily available. By altering or adding to the strategies available to include more cognitive-behavioral ones, teachers will be encouraged “to actively change the way they think and behave in stressful situations” (Sidle, 2008). This can be compounded by increasing social support which “buffers the relationship between stressors and strains” (Colquitt et al., 2016). If teachers are capable of meeting the same stressors with less strain, they affectively reduce their stress, leading to a positive effect on both job performance and organizational commitment.

Motivation

There are several factors of motivation that affect teachers’ and students’ job performance. First, the specific and difficult goals that teachers and students have directly affect their performance. Without these goals, or with goals that are not difficult enough, “there’s no reason to work your hardest or your longest, so task effort is lower” (Colquitt et al., 2016). Second, the reinforcements in a school setting must be careful not to reward the wrong behavior, such as rewarding “grades rather than knowledge” which can lead to forms of cheating (Kerr, 1975). Teachers should similarly be rewarded for transfer of knowledge to avoid the falsifying of grades. Lastly, psychological empowerment for teachers will help motivate them through meaningfulness and impact which overlap with increasing significance in job satisfaction. This psychological empowerment is also affected by the competence with which a teacher feels they can complete their work tasks. By directly improving their competence, I can positively affect job performance.

A Unique Idea

Taking all of these concepts into consideration when positioning an idea, it is necessary to focus on a program that gives the teacher an ongoing support system. Similar to the Teach For America model, which has been expanded on a global scale to the Teach For All organization, the idea would provide recent graduates with opportunities to participate in developing countries’ education systems. Teach For All provides individuals the opportunity to teach “in high need classrooms… to expand opportunity for children in their countries ” (Teach In Your Country, n.d.). There are two major changes I would make, however, that would create a better support system. First, new participants will have the opportunity to travel to developing countries instead of teaching in their own countries. This expands the impact that each participant can have. Second, the participants will be training teachers instead of directly teaching the students. This multiplies the knowledge of the participants to entire populations of teachers instead of only the classrooms where they teach. The combination of these two structural changes provides a support system for managing stress coping mechanism by way of reframing training and the provision of direct teacher assistance. Through skill training, it will help with job satisfaction by increasing the variety of the skills used and how to better measure significance. Through the latest management techniques of student reinforcements, teachers will be better equipped to motivate their students. Students who are more motivated, being taught by less-stressed and more satisfied teachers will produce measurable incentives for parents to keep children in school.

References

Colquitt, J., LePine, J. A., & Wesson, M. J. (2016). Organizational behavior: Improving performance and commitment in the workplace. New York: McGraw-Hill Education.

Epstein, M. J., & Yuthas, K. (2012). Redefining education in the developing world. Retrieved November 30, 2016, from http://ssir.org/articles/entry/redefining_education_in_the_developing_world

Kerr, S. (1975). On the folly of rewarding A, while hoping for B. The Academy of Management Journal, 18(4), 769-783. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/255378

Sidle, S., D. (2008, August) Workplace stress management interventions: What works best? Academy of Management Perspectives, Vol. 22, No. 3. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org.proxy.wm.edu/stable/pdf/27747467.pdf

Teach in your country. (n.d.). Retrieved November 30, 2016, from http://teachforall.org/en/get-involved/teach-in-your-country

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