How to Use the Toolkit

Within each of the five areas or domains, the toolkit includes multiple recommendations to address working conditions issues of need identified by responses to North Carolina’s working conditions survey.  Before even considering any of the recommendations and research relative to working conditions provided in the toolkit, we strongly encourage all users to begin with the data analysis section of this toolkit to help ensure that they are focusing their time, resources and energy on the most pressing issues facing their respective schools and communities.

Within each of the recommendations, resources are provided for community members (including business, parents and others), teachers, principals, district office personnel, and policymakers.  Resources are divided into three distinct categories: “seeing it work,” “action tools,” and “knowledge.”  The toolkit provides a link to and annotated description of each web-based resource relative to the recommendation. .  

"Seeing It Work" represents real world examples of actual schools and communities implementing the reform strategies prescribed in the toolkit.
"Action Tool" represents a specific strategy, checklist of items to address, plan for immediate activity or targeted instruction on how to implement reform around teacher working conditions.
"Knowledge Tool" represents background research, academic studies, or relevant articles that may inform your work and help you better understand the broader context for your work on teacher working conditions.

We hope these resources will provide some ideas for communities as they begin to consider ways to improve teacher working conditions. Things to consider while using this toolkit:

  • The toolkit is a start, but not a complete solution: We have compiled considerable research and evidence of success related to working conditions across North Carolina.  All the tools provided on this site can not provide the blueprint for improving teacher working conditions on their own merit.  Workable solutions and answers to working condition challenges must come from ongoing and meaningful conversation among multiple stakeholders about the survey data. Suggested strategies, recommendations and resources will only be helpful as part of a long-term, sustained reform process driven by the entire community. 

 

  • One reform should inevitably lead to more:  This toolkit helps community members consider survey data and identify areas on which to initially focus.  While communities must start somewhere and prioritize resources, only a comprehensive, aligned approach to recruiting and retaining quality teachers over time will help ensure all children have quality teaching in every classroom, every day.  Other data sources and additional reform strategies that help support teaching and learning must also be considered and aligned with strategies from the working conditions initiative to achieve ultimate success.

 

  • Not all strategies and domains are created equal: While recommendations are provided in each of five domains, and the toolkit provides resources targeted toward essential stakeholder groups in all five areas, not all of these strategies will make sense for all communities.  Some of these strategies take more time and resources to accomplish than others; and some strategies engage some stakeholder groups more deeply than others.  Also, according to the survey results, some of these strategies appear to be more important in retaining teachers (such as leadership and creating a collegial atmosphere) and improving student learning (time and empowerment) than others.  In the end, communities must assess their capacity, as well as their existing political and economic context, to consider what strategies are not only necessary, but also feasible.

 We look forward to improving this tool over time with your valued input and suggestions.  Please send us any information you have regarding examples of innovative resources and/or reforms that improve teacher working conditions: . 

Other North Carolina organization such NC Teacher Academy, the Principals Executive Program, the North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Teaching, and the North Carolina Professional Teaching Standards Commission are also developing more specific resources to assist teachers and school leaders.

We hope you find these resources useful and wish all users luck in their efforts to improve teacher working conditions and student learning conditions in North Carolina and across the nation.

If you have other resources to add or thoughts to share,
please email 


data analysis | time | leadership | empowerment | prof development | facilities & resource