I have sat on this for a couple weeks as our state grapples with the many decisions related to re-opening our schools. The survey results, though a much smaller sample of teachers and educators, reflect some of the same feedback that we have been reading from other sources. This document basically captured the thoughts as teachers shared during Zoom meetings hosted by many of you during the first couple weeks in June.
Put directly, there is a sense of anxiousness regarding returning to face-to-face classroom instruction. It is worthy to note that the responses to when teachers would feel comfortable returning to a in-person conference hosted by a professional organization indicate late-winter, early-spring at best. As a result, the SCCTM Board voted to seek alternative means of providing teachers professional learning support in the coming year, cancelling our annual event that was slated for November.
It is also important to note that, as we plan professional learning opportunities for our teachers that we consider what they deem as most important:
91% of respondents asked that support be directed to providing academic assistance support for our students. This was followed by 89 sharing the need to provide assistance addressing issues related to social emotional support for children
87% requested that professional learning focus on online resources and support
85% asked that additional attention be placed on janitorial and cleaning, including protective materials and supplies
84% encouraged greater support for materials, supplies, and content resources.
The purpose of this project was to serve as a means of hearing the teachers' voices as they shared their concerns about how things went in the spring and what they identify as their needs as we prepare to re-open. The intent was to offer a chance to allow them the opportunity to share. As we move forward, I hope organizations continue to engage teachers in conversations, demonstrating our commitment to support and strengthen connections.
These have been some incredibly trying times, but what we have confirmed is that our educators are amazingly creative and terrific problem solvers with an abundance of resilience as they demonstrate their commitment to their students and their families.