The Importance of Nurturing and Empowering Teachers

Taking care of our teachers so they can take care of students.

Photo of Kirsten Franklin
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I am in my third year as a teacher on special assignment for science and common core support in my district.   Prior to this assignment, I have 25+ years in elementary grades 1-6,  so I understand well all of the roles and responsibilities classroom teachers have that extend far beyond a typical 40 hour workweek.   You rarely feel like you get it all done or that you have done it well enough.  So, all of the ideas for providing choice, time to converse, time to engage together in social and fun activities, comfortable spaces for teachers to collaborate, etc., etc., are critical to support, lift up, and empower teachers. And of course, the results of increased teacher well-being will benefit students. I keep my efforts as a TOSA focused on the driving question and vision that I wrote and pinned above my workstation.  "How can we create effective collaboration time that meets the needs of staff and leads to student achievement?" because teachers are always looking for more TIME to help them do their jobs well and to meet the needs of their students.  And "Petaluma City Schools: The school district where everyone one wants to teach!" because I want our district to offer our teachers the kinds of working conditions and support systems that enable them to have the energy and creativity they need to provide the best learning experiences possible for all of their students.

Interestingly enough, our K-12 Curriculum committee is presently engaged in the Design Thinking process to tackle similar challenges as those we are examining in this Teacher's Guild project.  I really appreciate the wonderful thinking and sharing from this group as I am sure it will benefit the work we are doing back in my district.  Thank you!

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Photo of Sarah

"Petaluma City Schools: The school district where everyone one wants to teach!"-- A powerful goal to keep in front of your work! Your insight that when we "lift up and empower teachers" students have much to gain really resonates with my own experience in the classroom.

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