Teaching and Learning Report

To: Michael Green

From: Asha Riley

Date: October 17, 2017

Re: Teaching and Learning


New Hire Feedback:

Each year, I meet with our newly hired teachers to see how the first month of school went, what challenges they are facing, and what supports are working.  Their feedback is in the attached document below for your review. In general, they feel highly supported and love their new home in our school district.  There are three areas we could improve supports - they are below. Our committee will meet and discuss solutions and how we might increase our supports in these areas for current and future employees.

  • Curriculum - At the elementary level, the curriculum can be overwhelming to engage with at first. The staff would like more time and support exploring the curriculum prior to the start of the school year.
  • The Small Things - While we are very explicit about a number of important things, we tend not to explain simple small things like how a teacher might buy a lunch if they forget theirs, or which way to exit the building with their students at the end of the day, or how set up their voicemail. We’ve typically addressed these topics generally but many new hires still don’t know the answers to these questions and figure them out as they go.  Based on input, a list of these type of questions has been assembled and we will be sure their mentors answer all of these questions moving forward.
  • Employee Wellness - Because we hire the best, we want to keep them and ensure they don’t burn out. Therefore, at the end of our meeting, I ask our new hires how they take care of themselves and manage stress. I share with them that self-care is important here and we hope they will carve out time in their life to do things they love, things that will inspire and encourage them. Each year, our staff struggle to really think about how regularly they do these things. I’d like to see if we can help staff make self-care more of a priority in their lives.

Out of State Travel to Learning Forward Conference:

In December, a handful of leaders in our district will attend the Annual Learning Forward Conference that will take place in Florida. Last year, a small group attended the same conference and found the conference to be highly engaging. This conference translates what research says about improving student achievement into practical solutions for schools. It is highly valuable learning and I support our staff attending the conference.

Learning Forward is the only association focused solely on the most critical level in improving schools: building the knowledge and skills of educators. The Learning Forward community of educational leaders is committed to professional learning that is sustained, job-embedded, practical, and tied directly to student achievement. Learning Forward offers district staff, principals, and teacher leaders the connections, tools, learning opportunities, and resources they need to promote meaningful and purposeful professional learning and embed it in the school day.

Learning Forward’s Annual Conference offers many ways to collaborate, network, study, and reflect. Leader lectures and panel discussions feature selected leaders in professional learning, school improvement, and other areas of interest. The goal of the conference is to:

  • Develop solutions to professional learning challenges for all educators;
  • Strengthen professional learning systems at all levels;
  • Explore best practices and new technologies in the field; and
  • Collaborate with education leaders from around the world and gain valuable connections, tools, learning opportunities, and strategies.