Fairmount Park teachers share concerns
From the latest Friday Update newsletter to Pinellas school board members:
At the request of PCTA leaders Kim Black and Marshall Ogletree, Dr. Stewart recently visited with staff at Fairmount Park Elementary School. Among the issues that teachers shared with him were the following:
• Many barriers teachers face revolve around the fact that students come to school a grade level or more behind.
• Teachers are spending time on tasks not related to lesson planning; there is a desire among them for the district to conduct an assessment to determine if the things that have been added to their plates are really necessary.
• Teachers want the opportunity to make professional decisions concerning what students need rather than being told by state officials, “You have to do it this way.”
• Difficulty in retaining staff is leading to fear of a “mass exodus” of teachers leaving the school.
• It takes too long to arrange interventions for students.
• There is a language barrier between teachers and students; teachers have to relate to students in their language, yet they must teach children proper English usage that will make them successful.
Dr. Stewart has pledged to Ms. Black and Mr. Ogletree that he will make similar school tours to other schools in the near future.