Listening to our teachers
This week I want to point you to an article I recently read from CNN’s Schools of Thought. “School districts need to stop losing ‘irreplaceable’ teachers” is a great blog on retention from a teacher's point of view. I have provided it here for you to read.
The Los Angeles teacher who wrote this insightful blog could have been from anywhere in the country. After reading and thinking long and hard about the implications, I believe this teacher speaks for many CCSD teachers. In fact, I believe this could have been written almost verbatim by many CCSD teachers. I agree with the message and feel like I have some pretty clear marching orders: We, as a system, need to find ways to keep our irreplaceable teachers.
With startling consistency, teaching is too often a thankless job. That is one of the things we must change if we are to keep our irreplaceable teachers in the classroom while developing the next generation of irreplaceable teachers. I believe the beginning of that conversation starts with our leaders and begins with two simple words: “Thank you.”
Like the writer points out, we can only give out so many official teaching awards. Saying thank you to our educators for a job well done is priceless and costs nothing. I encourage all school administrators to thank one or more members of their hardworking staffs every day. If you are already doing this, please continue. If you are not, please start today.
The message of keeping our great teachers speaks to a recent report by TNTP, which is a partner in this work with us. I hope you will take time to read the blog and report and let me know your thoughts.
When we get in our daily routines we can get in the habit of talking "at" people instead of "to" them. To increase the dialog between myself and CCSD employees, we will be launching a monthly open forum titled “Talking in the Library.” You will soon receive an invitation to come to a library near you to begin the first of many conversations related to employee engagement and how we can improve this district together. The type of transformative and lasting change is not possible without our irreplaceable teachers, and I look forward to hearing your thoughts.
To all of our teachers, let me be the first to say thank you.
Superintendent Dwight D. Jones