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Westside thanks a teacher; 1,000 messages shared

Last week, we kicked off Teachers Are More on the Jacksonville Westside. Lt. Lakesha Burton, Warren Jones and Mandarin High Teacher of the Year, Abe Reising, all gave remarks about the important role teachers play in powering the potential of what our city can be. Westside residents helped us reach our first 1,000 messages of thanks for teachers in Duval County. 

Research shows that appreciation is directly linked to retention in a variety of jobs. And earlier this year, JPEF’s Annual Public Education’s Perception Poll showed that 39.1 percent of Jacksonville residents think attracting and keeping high-quality teachers should be the most important consideration of the next superintendent.

This is not surprising considering that in Duval County, 40-50 percent of the teachers leave within the first five years of beginning their careers while colleges of education and other teacher prep programs have seen decreases in enrollment year over year. 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 are struggling to staff their classrooms.

That is why showing our teachers that they live in a community where they are valued and appreciated matters. 

To be a teacher is to be a public servant. Think of the success you have achieved, the skills and knowledge you possess you – this knowledge were given to you by a teacher. By elevating and expanding the reach of stories of those who have been impacted by an incredible teacher, we hope to alter the perception of the teaching profession, thereby 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 both recruit and retain more high-quality educators.

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 aims to show that 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.

So how can you help?

  • Share a message of thanks on social media using #JaxThanksATeacher and tagging @JaxPEF. Help us reach 100,000 messages of thanks for teachers!

  • Join us at our next event! Teachers Are More is coming to the Downtown area on May 15. Space is limited, so reserve your spot today.

  • Pledge your support at the interactive exhibit. An interactive exhibit dedicated to Teachers Are More will be on display at FSCJ Downtown Campus through June 21.  

If you have questions about how you can get involved, contact Charmaine Campo, Sr. Manager of Marketing and Communications at Charmaine@jaxpef.org.