Research shows that a teacher’s effectiveness has more impact on student achievement than any other factor under the control of school systems. Yet many teachers, particularly those in high-need communities, have the added challenge of teaching without adequate opportunities to learn, practice and implement proven teaching strategies, experiment with education trends, or effectively integrate digital media and technology to enhance their instruction.
The PBS Teacher Community Program (TCP) aims to listen to, work with, and empower teachers, particularly in rural communities, to find ways to support their work and help make teaching a little easier.
Using a comprehensive needs assessment and ongoing dialogue, the Teacher Ambassador – a former classroom teacher embedded at the local PBS affiliate – works with local educators to provide the support most helpful and relevant to them via workshops, virtual collaboration, and individual meetings.
This three-year program is piloting a variety of strategies in five different states (ND, IA, MT, ID, OR) with different schools and different teachers, all to create different models for supporting teachers in rural communities across America that will improve teacher performance, combat teacher isolation, improve student outcomes, and build stations’ capacity. Through this project, PBS and Prairie Public will work together to create impactful, replicable, and sustainable plans that can serve as a blueprint for the public media system.
North Dakota’s Teacher Community Program
After conversations with North Dakota teachers, Regional Education Associations, Administrators, and other educational players, Prairie Public is:
*Partnering with four districts to support individual teachers and district initiatives/goals.
*Developing partnerships with Regional Education Association leaders, ND United, ND Department of Public Instruction, University teacher training programs, and other state education organizations to help further their reach and capacity to support teachers.
*Developing a virtual Professional Learning Community (PLC) platform to reduce teacher isolation and help teachers connect with others who teach the same grade/content.
*Hosting a workshop, Building Community: Grow Roots, Branch Out, to help teachers cultivate skills for their classroom and foster new relationships with like-minded educators.
For more information about the Teacher Community Program or to connect with other North Dakotans passionate about education, please join our TCP Facebook Group or contact our Teacher Ambassador, Darcy.