By Marco Petruzzi, President and CEO of Green Dot Public Schools
Each and every day in Green Dot Public School classrooms inspirational moments happen. A student struggles to figure out a complex math problem – and gets the answer. A spark of joy lights when a student picks up a musical instrument or a paint brush.
All of these moments share something in common: the work of our tremendous teachers.
Because of our teachers’ dedication, drive, and passion, we are graduating more college-ready students every year. Our students, in Los Angeles and Tennessee and Washington State, are performing better in school; those who start at Green Dot behind their peers are catching up. The difference our teachers make in the lives of our students does not go unnoticed. During this week’s Teacher Appreciation Week, I hope that you will take an extra moment to thank the educators in your life: whether they are teaching your children, they taught you when you were in school, or they are a neighbor or colleague.
I’d also encourage you to take a second to think about what made those particular teachers so memorable. Figuring out what characteristics of instructional excellence set up educators to propel students to college and beyond is no easy task. But it is a vital one. At Green Dot, it is a key goal that teachers be highly effective – we go out of our way to find the best of the best, and then we further support them in growing professionally by offering relevant tools and training.
One key that we have found at Green Dot is to meaningfully include teachers in our organization’s development of strong instructional practices. It is at the heart of why our educators succeed. This approach of “leading with support” isn’t just about giving teachers autonomy: we foster excellence, growth, retention, and satisfaction through teacher mentorship and coaching, collaboration, and partnership. Because we place high-quality instruction at the heart of our model, we are committed to recruiting, training, and supporting the very best teachers to achieve professional excellence.
We want to honor the devotion of our teachers through fulfilling and rewarding experiences, and celebrating excellence in the classroom and beyond — including at last month’s Golden Dot awards. In everything we do at Green Dot, we try to make every week of the year Teacher Appreciation Week.
This week is also National Charter Schools Week, and we’re incredibly proud of how our schools are delivering a college-preparatory program that empowers all students, and prepares them for success in college, leadership, and life.
And we know that it all begins with our teachers.