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Headshot Young Girl

Carrie Siegmund


Athens, GA

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In the American system of public education, teachers value independence and self-reliance. Teachers speak of “my standards” and “my students”, and when they close the door to their classrooms, they feel they can self-sustain with little help or interaction from others. The challenge we face with this approach is that many teachers struggle to survive the year and have hard times coping in this demanding profession. These teachers may soon find, though they are surrounded by students and other teachers, they are operating on lonely islands without the sustaining forces they need to thrive. We can not ignore the well-being of teachers when considering the quality of learning in our schools. A learning ecosystem or school is only “truly healthy when all members of the community are thriving”. If teachers are not thriving in their school environment, how can the community come together to ensure they are?

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