In Duval County, 40-50 percent of the teachers in our district leave the teaching profession within the first seven years of beginning their careers and universities have seen decreases in enrollment for education degrees. This teacher shortage is not unique to Duval County or even to the state of Florida as national statistics show states all over the United States struggle to staff their classrooms and to recruit students in postsecondary education programs to prepare them for a career in the classroom.
To be a teacher is to be a public servant. By elevating and expanding the reach of stories of incredible teachers and of those who have been impacted by an incredible teacher, we hope to alter the perception of the teaching profession, increasing public support for the invaluable educators in our city with the hope that if teachers feel valued in their roles, schools will be able to retain more high-quality teachers.
Whether they’re arriving early to help students prep for a test or staying up late to grade papers, we all know teachers’ days don’t begin and end when the bell rings. Our Teachers Are More than instructional experts and often go above and beyond the call of duty - they’re friends, mentors, support systems and caretakers who shape young lives. Teachers lay the foundation for what our city is and what it has the potential to be.
Visit the interactive traveling exhibit and pledge your support: Art transcends barriers and brings communities together. By uniting to strengthen the systems that support child development, we are living up to our shared responsibility to make our city a place where all children can learn, grow and become responsible citizens themselves. The art exhibit is free and accessible to the public.
Travel dates and locations:
March 1 - March 5 City Hall
March 5 - March 12 Jessie Ball duPont Building
March 12 - March 13 Legends Center
March 13 - April 11 Edward Waters College Library
The traveling exhibit includes an interactive installation containing video stories from Jacksonville residents just like you who have been impacted by an incredible teacher. You can preview the interactive storybook below:
It also features work by the following local artists who submitted pieces through an Open Call held earlier this year:
Kevin Kelly - A local public school art educator in his 13th year of teaching in Duval County. Born and raised Naval military family growing up. When he is not teaching, he's creating digital graphic designs for various clients and small businesses.
Mariah Cagle - She grew up in Jacksonville and went to Landon then on to Douglas Anderson. After graduation, she went to the Atlanta College of Art and received a BFA in sculpture. Since, she's traveled the world and lived in South Korea for 7 ½ years. She returned to Jacksonville in April 2016. Her work currently is about color, texture and loose narrative.
Ever McClain-Folwell - Ever is a 7th grade student at the Grasp Academy and an active member of the Art League of Jacksonville.
Markie Benevento - Markie's art is to express love that comes from within and around us. Most of the art is metaphoric showing the Brightside of life and our daily experiences. Markie wants to show people the “beautiful” in life through art.
Jacksonville residents from all walks of life: We invite you to reflect on the impact a teacher has had in your life and contribute to this community-led conversation. Use the following questions as a guide:
We want YOU to help us reach 100,000 messages of thanks on social media to show our teachers that we know about and appreciate all of the hard work they do to ensure that students grow into responsible citizens who can contribute in meaningful ways to our great city! Share your response on your personal Facebook or Twitter using the #JaxThanksATeacher. Make sure the privacy settings on that post are set to public, and tag @JaxPEF.
Questions? Contact Charmaine Campo, Senior Manager of Marketing & Communications, at Charmaine@jaxpef.org for more information.