Supporting Our Teachers
Treating Our Teachers as Professionals
Teachers are at the front lines -- they must be supported and listened to. Asking for feedback, Superintendent Woods sent out a teacher survey focused on reasons why 44% of Georgia teachers were leaving the profession by year five. Over 53,000 teachers -- almost half of the workforce responded -- with their top two reasons being too much testing and a teacher evaluation system that was being used as a 'gotcha' tool instead of a coaching tool.
Superintendent Woods surprised many when he released the results of the survey and called for action. The legislature responded and the number and weight of high stakes tests were reduced and significant reforms made to the teacher and leader evaluation systems. A new Professional Growth component was also added that moves the state toward a more personalized professional learning approach that will provide better support for our teachers.
Throughout the legislative session, Superintendent Woods worked with the bill's sponsor, education groups, and the Georgia Teacher of the Year to get the bill passed. It was signed into law by Governor Deal during Teacher Appreciation Week.
Recently, Superintendent Woods was named one of the Top 100 Georgians of the Year by Georgia Trend for his 'focus [on] putting the heart back into teaching.'
The Georgia Department of Education is focusing on efforts to personalize professional learning for teachers so that training is tailored around their needs and delivered in a way that is most effective for them.
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