Key Takeaways from Oregon Teachers’ Experience

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Oregon Department of Education - Oregon achieves - together

Hello Colleagues,

In the first two weeks of December, the Oregon Department of Education and leaders from the Oregon Health Authority held virtual meetings with teachers from across the state. 

The purpose of engaging with teachers -- through virtual meetings and an online survey -- was to capture their stories, questions and experiences from the first half of the 2020-21 school year. From the data collected -- including what participants wrote in their responses - five themes emerged:

  1. Some students are thriving in a virtual environment.
  2. Teachers are encouraged by increased family engagement.
  3. Teachers are developing new skills with technology and honing their practice through increased collaboration and supports.
  4. Inequities are exacerbated due to the impact of distance learning on students and parents.
  5. Teachers are experiencing feelings of burnout, with concerns for safety, mental health and well-being for themselves and their families. 

This report summary represents a snapshot of teachers’ experiences, and while the information cannot be generalized, the data presented offers a meaningful and actionable way for both state and local leaders to deepen their awareness of teachers’ experiences and take informed and focused next steps to center the voices of Oregon teachers.

We encourage you to take time to read and reflect on the experiences of Oregon’s teachers. 

With Appreciation,

Colt Gill, Oregon Department of Education Director