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DCPS teachers brainstorm actions to encourage and retain teacher leaders

Giving our children a strong head start in life gives our city a strong start to be all that we know it can be. It all starts with a high quality public education driven by the best teachers! Saturday, Dec. 10, a group of DCPS teachers convened at the second part of our three-part Teacher Roundtable series to discuss critical improvements that could be made to empower teachers to seek leadership opportunities inside their schools.

The goal of the Teacher Roundtable is to elevate the voices of teachers in community and district discussions about improving public education, support teachers in being their own advocates and connect teacher leaders to the community through speaking engagements and other opportunities.

The topic of this fall’s Teacher Roundtable series, teacher leadership, was selected as a topic of importance to the teachers involved in the previous Roundtable series as well as to Dr. Vitti, who identified teacher leadership as one of his priority areas in his “State of the Schools” address. 

During Part B of the three-part series, the group of teachers discussed over brunch specific actions that could be taken to encourage and support teacher leadership in our schools. Recognizing that elementary and secondary schools have some different structures in place, the teachers were split into two groups.

Some of the ideas elementary teachers mentioned included flexibility with class sizes, increasing and safeguarding the planning and professional development time available to teachers, and the possibility of having access to strong lead teacher that could take over the classroom during these professional development periods.

Secondary teachers discussed the possibility of a panel of teacher leaders that included teachers specializing in a particular subject as well as the need for safeguarded planning and professional development time.

Both groups agree that the current system offering early release time is not working, but they had some great suggestions for restructuring that time in a way that would best benefit teachers, encourage leadership and ultimately benefit the students. The full notes from all parts of this fall’s Teacher Roundtable series will be available here after Teacher Roundtable Part C, scheduled for March 13.

We need the talents and contributions of all children to be available to our communities in the future. It is our hope that citizens, local leaders and state leaders will see these ideas and the Teacher Roundtable as a resource as they work together to bring about improvements to our public schools with a goal of ensuring that all students and teachers meet their full potential. For this reason, the final part of this series on teacher leadership, to take place March 13, will involve presenting the action plan developed in Part B to key district officials. The Jacksonville community is coming together to support great things and move our public education systems forward. Teachers can RSVP for Part C by emailing Kelly Scott, Teacher Roundtable Coordinator, at kelly@jaxpef.org.

To learn about the results of previous Teacher Roundtable series, click here.

To learn more about Teacher Roundtable contact Kelly Scott at kelly@jaxpef.org.