Human Relations in the School Environment
Praise is to Allah, and peace be upon the Messenger of Allah, who Allah the Almighty praised: “And if you had been rude [in speech] and harsh in heart, they would have disbanded from about you” Surah Al-Imran.
Establishing mutual understanding and respect in the school community is of the utmost importance to school administration, teachers, students, and parents in order to achieve the desired goals. Therefore, a school’s success depends on its principal, community, and staffs close understanding of each other. This cohesion helps the principle recognize his staff and their abilities, interests and aptitudes, which will in return have a positive impact on students’ and parents’ relationship with the school.
Thus, school administration has an effective role in reinforcing school relations by creating a suitable educational curriculum that motivates students and school educational/ administrative bodies. By doing this they can cooperate with one another to solve any problems they may face and thereby achieve balance amongst all employees and facilitate the educational process. Hence, school relationships promote the educational process if used properly, and this undoubtedly has an impact on the student.
And in order to achieve this we must pay attention to the following aspects:
First: The concept of human relations
Second: The foundations of human relations
Third: The objectives of Human relations
Fourth: The importance of human relations in school administration
Fifth: The means to achieve human relations in school management
Sixth: Expected goals of human relations in school management
Seventh: The principal’s role in human relations in terms of:
– His relationship with the Vice principal
– His relationship with teachers
– His relationship with the school community.
First: The Concept of Human Relations:
The concept of human relations emphasizes on humans as the contributors to success. So human relations, in the workplace is defined as: “An administrative aspect that aims to integrate individuals in workplace, establish mutual cooperation, and fulfill their economic, psychological and social needs, in order to increase their productivity”[Mustafa and Naba, 1986, p151]. And, behavioral human relation is defined as: “The process of revitalizing individuals’ reality in a given situation, to achieve psychological balance and desired objectives” [Feki, 1994, p152].
Human relation in the form of behavioral management is defined as: “Behavior management which is based on each individual’s evaluation and appreciation of his talents, mutual respect between individuals and their employers, the scientific objective study of administrative problems, and the awareness of the individual’s belonging to the community in which he works in” [Taha and Bustan, 1989, p 60].
Hence, the concept of human relations can be summarized as follows:
1 – It focuses on man as the reason behind the success of any work entrusted to him.
2 – It motivates individuals, which is the principle of human relationships.
3 – It establishes mutual respect between individuals.
4 – It aims to stimulate and increase staff productivity at work.
Second: the Principles of Human Relations:
Human relations in educational organizations are governed by a lot of principles, they are as follows:
1 – Believing in an individual’s value, this means that the principal has to. acknowledge that every individual has a unique and respected personality.
2 – Participation and cooperation by realizing that group work is more effective. than individual work.
3 – Equal treatment, which means that the employer treats administrative organization members equally.
4 – Modernization and development [Bustan and Taha, 1989, p 61-62].
As for the principles of human relations in educational institutions they are to:
1 – Motivate group solidarity through responsibility and clarity of purpose.
2 – Respect school administrative employees, teachers, and students.
3 – Create a friendly educational environment.
4 – Keep teachers, staff and students aware of what is happening.
5 – Involve teachers, staff, and students in decision-making.
6 – Help workers and teachers develop their talents.
7 – Make teachers aware of their integral role in community and students’ development.
8 – Respect human dignity. [Feki 1994, p 168].
Third: the Objectives of Human Relations:
Human relations aim to create the right atmosphere for a person to properly carry out his job, in order to increases his productivity, to achieve mutual cooperation and respect between workers and employers, to fulfill their different needs, and help them cope with their work environment.
Fourth: Human Relations’ Importance in School Management.
Human relations’ principles of respect, intimacy, cooperation, and cohesion contribute to societies’ development, and are even more effective in small communities in which members meet on a daily basis, whether in schools, factories or otherwise. Thus, the school is a human organization since it deals with a person who has emotions, desires and drives, and consists of a diverse community such as a principle, a mentor, a teacher and students. Each of these differs from the other in their behavior and natures. Hence, a successful principal creates healthy school relationships by motivating employees to achieve high efficiency in performance through interacting and cooperating with the school community members in order to achieve their planned objectives.
Also, a successful headmaster must reinforce teachers and students’ positive points to establish a democratic and ideal atmosphere that positively impacts the educational process and the school. He should also treat his employees properly and boost their self-esteem to increase their efficiency and productivity in order to achieve their desired objectives and overall managerial success. It should be noted that human relations are not enough for management success, since there are other educational administrative aspects that we must pay attention to, such as analytical outlook and scientific management values.’ [Taha and Bustan, 1989, p 65].
Hence, human relations should be used in school management to achieve educational goals rather than nepotism, so it must have limits so that human relations don’t violate systems.
Fifth: The means to achieve human relations in school management
There are multiple methods to achieve human relations in school management, which a successful headmaster implements in his school to help him deal with his colleagues, students and their parents. These methods are:
1 – Following the moral values of the Islamic Sharia in conduct, as Allah said: “So by mercy from Allah, [O Muhammad], you were lenient with them. And if you had been rude [in speech] and harsh in heart, they would have disbanded from about you.”[Al-Imran, verse 159] And the Prophet, peace be upon him, said: “Fear Allah wherever you are, do good deeds after doing bad ones, the former will wipe out the latter, and behave well towards people”
2 – Acknowledging each member’s value.
3 – Mutual respect and empathy between members of the educational institution.
4 – Taking care of workers’ problems and respecting their opinions, desires and feelings.
5 – Fulfilling workers physiological, psychical and social needs by providing tranquility and an appropriate salary.
6 – Ensure the group’s cohesion and harmony.
7 – Coordinate tasks between all workers according to their field of practice.
8 – Involve employees in formulating a work plan that would increase their productivity and commitment.
9 – Equal and good treatment of workers while providing them with a proper atmosphere to raise their morale.
10 – Appreciation of productive members, and to provide the opportunity for others to be creative.
11 – Correct their mistakes without harming their feelings.
12 – Take into account individual differences and place each worker in the job that suits him.
13 -Emotional restraint and patience in dealing with stressful situations, and proper decision-making so as not to adversely affect work process. [Alhugail, 1991, pp. 40-41].
Sixth: Expected Goals of Establishing Human Relations in School Management:
Establishing human relations in school management is of great importance in human life, and there are expected goals that result from achieving these relations such as:
1 – Group cohesion, mutual trust, understanding, and cooperation.
2 – Awareness amongst educational institution’s members of the importance of their role, and their social responsibilities.
3 – High morale among educational institution’s members which provides a productive environment.
4 – Increasing educational institutions member’s productivity by reinforcing mutual communication, and making use of their potential.
5 – Solving the problems of school members through an ideal democratic policy. [Alhugail, 1991, p40].
Seventh: The Principal’s Role in Human Relations:
The school principal as a leader must achieve his school’s assigned goals by setting a good example in his actions for his employees, acknowledging that each individual has his own value and importance and realizing that individual ability and preferences may vary from one person to another. Therefore, he should respect and appreciate each individual. Also, self-confidence helps the principal cope with different situations, and helps him treat others as work colleagues which in return benefits the educational process and establishes mutual trust that serves the school’s objectives.
Also, the principal’s relationship with teachers and other members of staff in the school should be a school familial relationship, through showing his empathy for his staff’s circumstances which makes work more efficient and productive.
A principal can follow the following steps to show his empathy in his relations with:
– The Vice principal.
We will discuss these as follows:
First: the relationship with the Vice principal
the vice principal is the most important school personnel dealing directly with the principal, since he assists the principal in all educational and administrative work, and also becomes his deputy in his absence. Thus, in order to achieve successful school administration, the principal must grant the vice principal more power such as technical and administrative tasks to prepare him to be a principle in the future. He must also believe that the vice principal has lots of potential which in return enhances his productivity. Moreover, a good relationship between the principal and vice principal should achieve the school administration’s objectives. The principal must design a clear strategy for the vice principal’s tasks through:
1 –Writing down his responsibilities set forth in public schools’ regulations.
2 -Assigning other educational tasks that aren’t set forth in regulations which the principal feels must be assigned to him.
3 –Providing a complete portfolio, including:
-Public schools’ regulations.
-A student calendar.
– Listing dates of Exams.
-Admission and Registration Systems.
-Models used work.
A selection of educational and administrative booklets.
4 –Making him aware of the importance of accuracy in records, letters, files, office organization.
In order to successfully achieve these tasks, the principal has to do the following:
1 – Make the vice principal aware of the responsibility he shares with the principle and that they have to cooperate with each other to accomplish the school’s objectives.
2 – Emphasize his significant role in the school as a link between school’s parties.
3 – Involve him in the school plan so that he can carry out some of the missions which are included in the plan.
4 – Give him the opportunity to assess and evaluate some teachers.
5 – Consult him before making decisions.
6 – Allow him to manifest his leadership characteristics.
7 – Respect his suggestions by implementing them in the school curriculum.
8 – Allow him to take the necessary action to solve some situations.
9 – Discuss the school’s objectives with him.
9 – Inform him about the results of the meetings that the principal attended outside the school.
10 – Guide him and direct him.
11 – Increase his professional development through the following:
-Provide him with educational and administrative readings.
-Help him overcome his weak spots.
-Advise him to attend training courses to develop his educational and administrative skills.
-Help him visit outstanding vice principals to exchange views with them and benefit from their experiences.
– Teach him the art of dealing with people.
The second aspect: The Relationship with Teachers.
The success of the educational process highly depends on teachers who improve education with their outstanding teaching methods. Therefore, educational institutions should raise teacher’s level of performance by providing all possible means that speed up this process. The principal should establish good relationships with his teachers, and balance between his teachers’ needs and objectives on one hand, and the school’s objectives on the other. [AlQahtani, 1419 H, p 2.]
The practical measures for establishing outstanding relationships between the principal and his teachers can be summarized as follows:
1 – The principle should have faith in his teachers’ talents, and their ability to participate in implementing and planning objectives.
2 – The principle must be a team member rather than a team leader.
3 – The principle as the leader must work on coordinating workers’ activities to achieve his desired objectives.
4 – He has to stimulate teachers’ creativity through guiding them and properly planning their curriculum.
5 – He must maintain the outstanding relationship between him and his teachers. [Radwan and others, 1983, p 239].
Furthermore, the principal has to strengthen his staff’s social bonds, through wisdom, skill, social principles, and moral values to increase their productivity and competence. Thus, good school relationships are the key in achieving the school’s objectives; therefore the principal should recognize and understand the following:
1 – The principal has to learn how to establish healthy interpersonal relationships between his staff.
2 – The success of the principal’s mission depends on his skill and knowledge of these relationships.
3 – Who has knowledge and skill in interpersonal relationships can speed up his staff’s improvement.
4 – The study of personal relationships results in a change in the behavior of many people who will take over future jobs.
6 – Implementing these skills in schools requires personal qualities that some individual do not possess. [Faki, 1994, p 169].
Hence, the principal is the one who is working on improving the educational process by establishing strong school relationships to achieve the following objectives:
1 – Provide an opportunity for everyone in the school to manifest their abilities.
2 – Establish an outstanding educational institution.
3 – Distribute responsibilities among the school staff to recognize some workers’ leadership characteristics.
4 – Discover teachers and students’ talents.
5 – Allow freedom of expression in discussing educational problems. [Hugail, 1991, p 45].
Third Aspect: The Relationship with the Community That Surrounds the School
The principal must also establish a close relationship with students’ parents, through sending constant reports about their children’s level of achievement, and cooperating with them to solve their children’s problems, which reinforces the school’s social role .[Ministry of Education, 1420 H, p 11].
Hence, the principal should take advantage of the community surrounding the school and link this community with the school through the following:
1 – Establish a close relationship with parents.
2 – Establish a school board and involve parents, students and other neighborhood children who are able to improve the school’s level.
3 – To consider students and parents’ comments and suggestions.
4 – Open school facilities for students and parents.
5 – Set discussion sessions between parents, teachers, and administrative staff.
6 – Seek educational and cultural opportunities with government and civil departments around the school.
7 – Educate the surrounding community through religious and cultural competitions.
Based on the foregoing presentation we conclude the following:
1 – Maintaining a good relationship is a religious principle.
2 – A good relationships leads to mutual respect.
3 – Healthy relationships increase individuals’ productivity.
4 – The school administration has an important role in building good school relationships.
5 – Strong relationships in school management help achieve its objectives.
6 – Good relationships are implemented through a democratic administration.
7 – Healthy school relationships impact the educational process.
8 – The principle plays a major role in creating a healthy school atmosphere.
9 – The principle must balance between work performance and relationships, so that each side does not overshadow the other.
10 – A successful principle combines between power and democracy in an atmosphere of good relations.
11 – School relationships which are based on mutual respect improve the educational process
12 – Motivating teachers, impacts their performance.
13 – Allowing the vice principle to manifest his leading characteristics and sharing responsibilities with him achieve those goals that the school seeks to achieve.
14 – The relationship between the principal with the community that surrounds the school is one of the most important relationships advocated by the modern trends in education.
1 – Feki, AbdalmamnFaraj: contemporary school administration, Benghazi, Publications of Garyounis University, 1.1994 m.
2 – Al-Qahtani, Wahaf Ben Ali: school factors leading to teachers’ lack of performance in primary schools in Riyadh, Unpublished MA Thesis, College of Education, King Saud University, Riyadh, 1419.
3 – Al-Hugail, Suleiman bin Abdurrahman: educational practice of human relations in school field, Riyadh, Al-Sharif presses, 2.1991 m.
4 – Bustan, Taha and Ahmed Abdul Baki, Hassan Jameel: Introduction to Educational Administration, Kuwait, Dar Al-Qalam, 2.1989 m.
5 – The Ministry of Education: for general schools’ Regulations, 1420.
6 – Mustafa, Salah Abdul Hamid and Naba, Najat Abdullah: educational management’s concept, theories and means, Dubai, Dar Al-Qalam, i 1.1986 m.
7 – Radwan Abu Futuh, and others: the teacher in school and community, the Anglo-Egyptian Library, Cairo, 1983.