For virtually any business or organization, the conditions in which employees work drive their satisfaction and productivity. Yet while businesses often focus on employee satisfaction, many schools often struggle to address critical working conditions -- isolating teachers in classrooms with closed doors, denying them basic materials to do their jobs, inundating them with non-essential duties, providing them with little input into the design and organization of schools, and offering little opportunity for career advancement and professional growth. Such conditions are closely related to teacher turnover and difficulties in recruiting and retaining teachers.
ABOUT THE TOOLKIT
This toolkit builds on the initial step of documenting teacher working conditions (click here to read more about the history of the Teacher Working Conditions Initiative) by empowering community members, teachers, principals, administrators and policymakers to act on the data and improve teacher working conditions.
The data anlysis section assists communities in examining their working conditions data and identifying areas for reform. The domain specific areas of the site (such as Time or Leadership) contain recommendations for improving teacher working conditions in specific areas and offers all stakeholders, from community members to teachers to policymakers, specific strategies for sustainable reform that improves teacher retention and student learning.
With the generous support of the BellSouth Foundation and BellSouth North Carolina operations, some communities across North Carolina are already working with the North Carolina Business Committee for Education, The Center for Teaching Quality, and BellSouth North Carolina to begin implementing some of the working conditions reform strategies highlighted in the toolkit. However, even without outside assistance, the toolkit is intended to help all stakeholders, in any community, better understand and respond to teacher working conditions in their respective schools. To understand how you, your community and your school can use this tool to begin work, please read How to Use This Document.
We look forward to working with communities across the nation to develop and implement working conditions reform strategies. The toolkit is intended to serve as an online living community and will depend on its users to help document progress and add effective strategies and links to the toolkit as it evolves over time.