In the Montezuma-Cortez School District RE-1, our talented and dedicated teachers educate 2,900 students every day. They open new worlds for students, from helping the youngest ones learn to read to guiding older students as they explore their dreams and chart their paths into adult life.
RE-1 understands the importance of good teachers. Many factors contribute to a student’s academic performance, including individual characteristics and family and neighborhood experience.
Research suggests, though, that among school-related factors, teachers matter most.
When it comes to reading and math tests, a teacher is estimated to have two or three times the impact of any other school factor, including services, facilities, and even leadership.
RE-1 is committed to attracting, developing, supporting and retaining high-quality teachers. Our vision is to become the No. 1 rural school district where teachers want to work because they are valued, are part of a dynamic team, have opportunities for leadership, and are making a difference every day in their students’ ability to reach their potential.
We value the insights and experience of our teachers. Our school board members and administrators welcome input on how the district can improve support for teachers. I am forming a teacher cabinet to help continue improving support of teachers.
Each school has a teacher leadership team to provide input into the school’s plans and programs.
A teacher’s role is greater than the public often sees. Each teacher also is a partner to families in supporting their children’s education, a colleague to other teachers to help them grow even better at their shared profession, and a member of the community who also may be a parent, a volunteer, or your next-door neighbor.
We can see the effectiveness of teachers on a daily basis. Effective teachers are measured by student proficiency on the state assessments, and we also can see the results of their work in other ways.
They hold high expectations of themselves and their students, while being respectful, fair and caring. They teach material in a variety of ways to engage all students and make learning exciting and meaningful.
Effective teachers are always learning and refining their skills so they can become even more effective in teaching their content areas and the 21st century skills our students need to be successful. They go the extra mile to prepare effective lessons and support students’ learning outside the classroom.
Being an effective teacher means being a part of our students’ lives. Effective teachers spend their personal time working individually with students so students will succeed.
They attend Honors Diploma presentations to provide support for the students who are presenting.
They help coordinate and work the after-prom celebration to keep our students safe on a night when students’ safety is at risk.
They stay in contact with students after graduation to help support and guide them as they make their way in life.
Being an effective teacher means having not just a career but a lifelong calling to grow and nurture our students who are the future of our country.
We know that the influence of a good teacher carries through the professional careers and sometimes the entire lives of their former students.
Lori Haukeness is superintendent of Montezuma-Cortez School District RE-1. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Education Update appears in the Journal on the fourth Friday of every month.