School management, in the simplest of terms, refers to the management of the activities of a school, whether it is for the long-term or short-term success of the school. Managing any institution is a challenging task because it involves several factors that influence the process in its own way. However small and insignificant, these factors need to be dealt with at the right time in the right manner because if not tended to, they can have a cumulative effect that can eventually prove detrimental to the smooth functioning of the school system. So here are 10 problems that schools face on a daily basis and the most practical solutions for them.
Effective Communication Across Stakeholders
When it comes to an institution that has multiple levels of management like a school, college, or even a large private coaching center, effective communication is essential in ensuring there are no erroneous assumptions being made in the course of the administrative process. This can be ensured only by using specific tools that target this problem.
There are 3 main tools schools can use to assist in the problem of communication - and these are as explained below:
Private & Classroom Chat
Teachmint (both web and mobile) can help in 2 ways - the private and classroom chat feature. The private chat feature is used for the interaction between teachers and students on an individual basis, while the classroom chat feature is used within the live class to ask doubts or questions, or simply to improve the level of interaction within the classroom.
This is one of the solutions Teachmint offers and it makes communication for admins extremely easy. The communication module can be used by admins to connect with all the levels of communication across the board, whether it is to the students, teachers, or (in the case of super admins) other administrators.
There is also a Notice Board that can be used by teachers to make announcements regarding their classes. This feature is limited to the students who have been invited into the classroom by the teacher, so it is essentially personalized for that particular classroom.
Managing the fees within an educational institution is difficult for multiple reasons:
- The sheer number of students
- The different types of payment methods such as cheques, cash, credit card, debit card, and so on
- The different types of installment methods like monthly, bimonthly, quarterly, semi-annually, annually, or if any of these don’t feel appealing, their own custom installment method
On the scale of a small institution like a small-time tuition center, this might not seem like a big issue, but when it is applied to large schools, colleges, and universities that have tens of thousands of students, it becomes quite difficult to manage on paper. This is where Teachmint can help - the fee management option targets these issues all at the same time, and on the scale of a well-established well-run institute. To top it all off, the entire process of fee management is automated and makes the whole process much less strenuous on the administrative staff.
This problem, even though it may seem recent, has always been there for a long time, and used to be most commonly seen in distance education and correspondence courses before online education became mainstream. The main problem the teachers used to face was that they could not see who had submitted the assignment at what time unless specified specifically by the students in the name of the file that was shared by them. This left space for fraud and confusion which are not conducive to a healthy educational system.
The teacher can create homework or assignment within seconds, which can take an objective or subjective approach. Marks can be assigned to the assignment, and if the assessment is done in an objective format, marks can be assigned per question, making the whole process automatic and instantaneous. This greatly reduces the strain on teachers when it comes to grading assignments and homework, and can give them more time to focus on the class itself, which will directly impact the students in a positive way.
Managing the admission process is a very important part of a school’s management system. This is because proper admission management makes sure that the management is made aware of their best students leaving the school, while also giving them the opportunity to help students in need or even weed out unruly students if necessary.
In addition, it makes the process of admission completely automatic. There is no paperwork involved, and the process of ranking students and sorting them according to the criteria assigned by the school can be done so without any of the admins even lifting so much as a finger. Teachmint offers a robust admission management system that makes this process faster by removing the need for traditional admission forms and long waiting lines by making it completely online.
Suggested Read - Top 7 Benefits of Admission Management System for Schools
Student Engagement in the Classroom
Keeping students engaged in an online or hybrid classroom setup is one of the more challenging aspects of the modern classroom, and with good reason - the attention span of students can be impacted. However, the approach that is most commonly taken is one of ‘fighting fire with fire’ - using the online space itself to compact the issue that it causes. Teachmint uses three distinct approaches to tackle this issue:
When the class is conducted in a hybrid or online setting, there are no tangible means of giving any visual aid to the students when teaching something other than the camera. Most teachers would have to resort to their webcam or mobile phone camera to show them diagrams, shapes, figures, illustrations, and so on, which is not a viable option over a sustained period of time because it can sometimes be insufficient, especially when the ambient lighting is bad. This is where the online whiteboard feature comes in - it creates a virtual whiteboard within the online classroom, hence enabling the teacher to show various diagrams and illustrations on the screen in real-time without having to turn on their webcam or mobile camera.
Making the students engage within the class using in-class Live Polls is something that can really kick interactivity up a notch. The Live Poll feature helps teachers ask a question, following which the students can give their answer in real time, which keeps the students alert during the class and also makes them interact with the class better, hence improving their attention span.
Another tool that Teachmint offers that makes students and teachers interact better within the classroom is the Hand Raise feature. The Hand Raise feature essentially gives students the opportunity to virtually ‘raise their hand’ in the classroom - which is basically just alerting the teacher that a student wants to engage with the teacher. This not only improves the interactive nature of the classroom but also helps improve the quality of the class by having the teacher not interrupted during the class mid-sentence.
Keeping Track of Performance
The school administration is tasked with the activity of evaluating the performance of both the students as well as the teachers. This is a very difficult task without the use of software, even on the side of teachers, as the admins have to personally monitor each teacher on the basis of the quality and number of classes taken, notwithstanding the comprehensibility on the side of the students. There are so many factors to be assessed that it becomes quite difficult to make the distinctions necessary for such an evaluation. However, this process is made many times easier with the help of a robust performance tracking system.
When something as complex as performance is to be evaluated, the following have to be studied intensely:
- The teaching hours per teacher or learning hours per student
- The teacher’s adherence to the lesson plan or the student’s adherence to the yearly plan
- The attendance of the teachers and students
- Customized reports of student and teacher performance
All of these factors can be tracked with absolute precision and analytics can be drawn without compromising any stakeholder’s performance in the process. Since the entire system is automated, there is hardly any chance of error as well, which makes the whole process all the more reliable and efficient.
Even though it may not seem like much, managing a library comes with its own set of problems. The library staff is tasked with cataloging and categorizing each and every book that is added to the library, which becomes increasingly difficult as the size of the library increases. In addition, they are also charged with the duty of keeping tabs on which student has which book in their possession, while also keeping track of the deadlines for each student. If they have surpassed their deadlines, they are also supposed to keep track of the number of days by which the student is late, and the subsequent fine due.
Even reading that might have been exhaustive, but the solution to such a problem is quite simple - a well-designed library management software solution. Teachmint does offer such a service, and it has proven to be quite effective as well. It can do all the tasks explained above, but with the advantage of being much faster because the entire process is automated and online. This reduces the paperwork associated with library management to basically nothing.
This is another part of school management that schools do not pay much attention to, but if left neglected can have a cumulative effect that can have very harmful consequences. Managing a hostel implies making sure that the warden has all the tools necessary to monitor the students’ login-logout times, expenditure, fees payable, and so on.
Teachmint offers a very well-crafted hostel management system that makes the whole process extremely easy. The admin will be able to see
- How many hostels the institution has
- How many students there are in each hostel
- How many rooms there are on each floor
- How many students there are in each room
- Which students stay together in each room
This cuts the administrative time manifold. Such an intricate system eliminates the need for unnecessary paperwork and makes the process of managing the hostel swift and reliable. In addition, it also helps keep track of each student’s hostel attendance.
Managing the Structure of the School
A problem that mirrors that of hostel management is keeping up with the structure of the school virtually. The problems that the school will have to face here are the following:
- Keep track of how many rooms classes there are
- Keep track of how many divisions are there in each class
- Keep track of how many students there are in each class
- Maintain a record of the class teachers of each class
- Keep tabs on the teachers assigned to each class
- Keep a record of how many classes are being taught by each teacher
All of this information can be tracked with pinpoint precision using Teachmint as well.
Another managerial inconvenience is the manual creation of certificates per student. Generally, the template is created with spaces left for the names of the students. Certificates are issued by schools in the context of students leaving the school such as Transfer Certificate (TC), Conduct Certificate (CC), Bona fide certificate, etc., or in the context of achievement. This is also now automated by Teachmint and can be done with little to no effort from the administrative staff.
A lot of the problems that schools face today can be solved through either making use of a Learning Management System (LMS) or an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software solution. Teachmint offers both in a well-integrated compact form that makes it easier not only for the administrators but all the stakeholders in the institution as well.