Prichard Committee teacher fellows share post-pandemic vision

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – A group of teachers from 23 counties across Kentucky convened by the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence has released its ‘Letter from Kentucky Teachers’. It offers shared priorities for teaching and learning, both now and as we emerge from the pandemic.

According to the letter, it’s also a commitment to turning teacher-identified education priorities into reality in classrooms across the state.

“The idea for this Letter from Kentucky Teachers arose as I watched the tense political environment of recent years and at the same time saw so many teachers expressing their longing to focus on the needs of students in their classrooms,” said Brigitte Blom Ramsey, Prichard Committee President & CEO. “I knew we needed to give teachers a platform to talk about their aspirations for excellence in teaching and to shape our collective vision for what’s possible, and what’s necessary. This letter is the culmination of that longing, and a beautiful statement of commitment by OUR Kentucky teachers.”

The group was led by the CEO of Latent Talent Accelerator, Brad Clark, a former teacher. Since late September, they have worked to explore and share experiences surrounding teaching and learning during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Public school teachers have always needed the trust and support of their personal and professional communities to create engaging, high-quality learning experiences that align with student needs, interests, and aspirations, let alone during a time of constant change and unforeseen challenges around the corner,” said Clark. “Securing the resources necessary to meaningfully engage and support students and families must be guided by intentional collaboration among teachers, administrators, students and families, as well as community partners.”

The letter asks all Kentucky teachers commit to providing equitable learning opportunities for each and every student; developing and expanding the skills that strengthen the quality of teaching and the learning experiences of students; developing stronger, more collaborative relationships with students, parents and families, and our communities; and promoting anti-racism and diverse perspectives in culturally aware and responsive instruction.

State, district and school leaders are also asked to help create collaborative settings that build cultures where teachers feel trusted to implement meaningful learning and systems that authentically support engagement with families and community members. Community and youth leaders are also tasked with advocating for learning experiences and school systems that best support the authentic needs of young people.

“We plan to follow this founding cohort of Teacher Fellows through the next year and to tell their stories as they work to implement the priorities in the letter at the local level,” said Blom Ramsey. “Our hope is to convene a group of Teacher Fellows every year – to give teachers a platform to share their aspirations and their priorities for the improvement of teaching and learning. Their work is sure to inspire us all.”

You can view the full letter HERE.

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