In recent blog posts, our Teacher Advisory Group colleagues have been sharing what Oakland teachers are doing to increase teacher retention by addressing basic needs, management support and teamwork in their schools. As three newly joined Teacher Advisory Group members this fall, we are excited to get to announce the last three teams of Oakland teachers that were recipients of retention grants to be implemented this school year.
In this post, we focus on the highest level of the Gallup Engagement Hierarchy: Growth. According to Gallup’s research, growth opportunities improve employee satisfaction most if they are provided after the other needs (i.e. lower in the hierarchy) are met. In other words, teachers need a solid foundation of resources, clear expectations, and support first, before trying out new ideas. As teachers, this resonates with us – when we have the basics in place, we’re eager and able to learn new practices and focus on growing our careers.
We are pleased to announce the three Oakland teacher teams receiving grants to implement strategies to create professional growth opportunities at their schools. We are excited to see how these new practices will help both teachers and students! (Stay tuned for coming posts on what the grant projects look like for both teachers and students at each awarded school…)
Collaborative inquiry within the Science Department at Life Academy: Rowan Driscoll and his science department colleagues are partnering with Mills Teacher Scholars using a professional learning strategy called collaborative inquiry. They will increase curriculum alignment with Next Generation Science Standards, and focus on writing.
Building trauma-informed practices into Think College Now teachers’ toolboxes: Jennie Herriot-Hatfield, Emma Coufal and colleagues are partnering with the Seneca Family of Agencies to work with an on-site behavioral specialist to build teachers’ skills in trauma-informed practices to meet the needs of their Tier III students, an area of focus for the school, and a cause of teacher burnout.
Building teachers’ skills in developing students’ social and emotional skills at Allendale: Johnny Tan and colleagues are piloting socio-emotional curricula with classroom-based coaching and will develop a recommendation for schoolwide rollout in 2017-18. They’ll build on the school’s Positive Behavioral Intervention System foundation and grow as instructional leaders through deeper SEL implementation.

We will be communicating regularly with all 12 teams, and will share more about their experiences as the school year unfolds. Collaboratively, we will explore:

  • How effective are these ideas at increasing teacher satisfaction and retention?
  • Do strategies at certain levels of engagement have a greater impact than others?
  • Which ideas are most easily transferable to other Oakland schools?

Stay tuned to get a peek at what the teams are learning in our quest to increase teacher satisfaction and retention in Oakland!

Kate Krumrei

Kate Krumrei

Urban Promise Academy

Teacher Advisory Group Member (2016-17)

Liz Woodward

Liz Woodward

International Community School

Teacher Advisory Group Member (2016-17)

Michelle Palasek

Michelle Palasek

Aspire Berkeley Maynard Academy

Teacher Advisory Group Member (2016-17)