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Why We Hella Love Oakland Teachers

In News Blog

Hella_Love_Oakland_Teachers_Sticker.pngAnyone who is or has ever been a teacher knows that the work a teacher does is extraordinarily complex - physically and mentally demanding, inspiring and exciting, intense and virtually never-ending. It is both a highly rewarding and highly demanding profession.

The hard-working individuals who become teachers in our city are doing this work for our children despite the possibilities many have to work in higher-paying districts nearby. Oakland, with all of its fantastic diversity and beauty, faces many challenges. Our teachers are doing the hard work every day of teaching our youth to meet those challenges and continue to build the Oakland we all know we can be.

During this Teacher Appreciation Week, we salute our teachers for everything they do to teach, empower, and love our children. It is not enough to appreciate teachers, though - we are committed to playing our part to help create conditions for teachers to thrive and to amplify teacher voice in Oakland.

We at Great Oakland Public Schools hope to play a role in building an Oakland where teachers are at the very center of policy discussions about what it takes to have effective teaching happening in every child's classroom. That's why we've been building an Effective Teaching Campaign over the past year. We believe that the time to prioritize support for great teaching is now. Consider the following:

  • Approximately 8 percent of our most effective teachers leave the profession every year, impacting over 1 million students. (Public Impact, 2010)
  • Oakland Unified loses 55 percent of its teachers after only three years with the district.  The annual teacher turnover rate is slightly more than 14 percent, which is around twice the national district average.
  • Nationally, there is more research and understanding than ever before about what it takes to support effective teaching.
  • Effective teaching is a critical part of Thriving Students - the OUSD strategic plan.
  • OUSD has created an Effective Teaching Task Force and there are new positions and people inside the district with renewed energy and focus on supporting teachers.
  • Excellent teaching matters deeply for students. Education Trust West's recent "Learning Denied" report found that second-graders who started off behind academically and then had access to three school years of highly effective teaching accelerated to academic proficiency, while students with less effective teaching remained stuck below grade level.

We imagine an Oakland where every teacher is supported to be outstanding at their profession and where every student gets to experience truly fantastic teaching every day. We hope you'll join us in making this happen - our teachers deserve for that vision to be realized, and so do our children.

How can you get involved?

  • If you are a teacher or parent who would like to get involved in our Effective Teaching Campaign, email Marc Tafolla to learn more.
  • Order a free "I Hella Love Oakland Teachers" sticker for your water bottle, notebook, car, or laptop to show your support. Then tell your friends to order one too!
  • If you know an Oakland teacher, "Share" this picture on their Facebook wall or through email and tell them how much you appreciate them.

Tags: Effective Teaching

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Upcoming Events

  • Wednesday, October 22, 2014, 4:00 PM

    Design Thinking 101: How to Identify Your Core Problems and Solutions

    This session, lead by Keara Duggan of Education Elements, introduces the basics of Design Thinking based on an activity from the Stanford school and provides an overview of the design framework.

  • Thursday, October 23, 2014, 12:00 PM

    Real World Learning at MetWest

    From curriculum inside the walls to internships outside in the community, Metwest engages students in relevant, contextualized learning.

  • Thursday, October 23, 2014, 3:30 PM

    Lights on After School

    Lafayette Elementary hosts this awesome event which consist of: student performers from all the West Oakland public elementary, middle, and high schools; a variety of vendors; and flag football competition between Hoover, MLK, Prescott, and Lafayette elementary!

  • Friday, October 24, 2014, 9:00 AM

    Edna Brewer Middle School Prospective Parent Tour

    The Prospective Parent Tours allow interested parents and guardians the opportunity to learn about our high-performing Oakland public middle school.

  • Saturday, October 25, 2014, 8:00 AM

    Civic Pride "Knowledge is Power" Youth Leadership Conference

    The Conference is a unique experience where Bay Area youth and young adults obtain valuable information regarding school, college and career success, as well as discovering meaningful ways to participate in their communities.