Many people remember a teacher who had a life-changing influence on them - the teacher that turned them onto science or theatre or convinced them that it is actually fun to read.
Effective teaching, educators agree, is the most important ingredient to a child's success in learning.
With this in mind, Great Oakland Public Schools and six other community groups on Thursday night will host a forum: "Teaching Matters: The Importance of Supporting Teachers so All Students Succeed," open to the public starting at 6 p.m. It will be held at the Edna Brewer Middle School at 3748 13th Ave., Oakland, in the gymnasium.
The Oakland Unified School District is in the midst of revamping its teacher evaluation and professional support systems. One of the issues confronting the district is high teacher turnover, since three out of four new teachers here don't stay beyond five years. The district is looking at how to expand its system for supporting teacher development and evaluation.
Great Oakland Public Schools along with Youth Uprising, Education Trust-West, Youth Together, SEIU Local 1021 and the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights, say the time is now for parents, students and other community members to have a voice in how to support teachers.
"We believe supporting teachers should be one of our highest priorities," Great Oakland Public Schools says on its website.
"In the coming … months, OUSD may be expanding a teacher evaluation system that was successfully piloted last year. The system provides meaningful and actionable feedback to teachers to support their growth. This is in line wiht the school board's recently adopted goal of piloting a new professional growth and evaluation system to better support teachers by 2013-14." (Found on OUSD's Balanced Scorecard, 2012)
"Around the country, educators and policy makers are recognizing important universal aspects that make up effective teaching and recognizing that experience and support matter," GO Public Schools said.