As you know, the Governor convened a Teacher Advisory Committee over the summer to provide feedback on the recommendations of the Education Reform Commission. Many of you, in fact, recommended teachers to be considered for that group and have teachers in your systems who served on the Advisory Committee. The teachers were outstanding representatives of their profession, providing thoughtful and considered insights and feedback in the areas of teacher recruitment and retention, compensation, and Move on When Ready.
During their discussions, the teachers remarked that Georgia teachers have an unparalleled opportunity to be positive voices both within schools and within the broader school communities, and that they can take a front-line position in beginning to grow the next generation of Georgia teachers through an authentic, low cost media campaign that allows real teachers to speak in their own voices and provide glimpses into the real world of education and teaching professionals. They wanted to communicate their own stories and the great things happening in their own schools, messaging that the intrinsic joy of working with students and seeing them succeed outweighs challenges experienced along the way.
At GOSA we are excited to have taken our direction from Governor Deal in response to their feedback, to have partnered with Georgia Public Broadcasting (GPB), and to have launched a series of high quality public service announcements (PSAs) that showcase real teachers in their own voices. The first PSA was shared by the Governor during his State of the State address, which certainly signaled the importance of this work to him, and featured Representative Amy Carter, the only full time classroom teacher also serving in the House of Representatives, who was Chair of the Teacher Advisory Committee. Her PSA, Purpose, is available on a YouTube channel dedicated to these PSAs, and all subsequent PSAs will be available there as well.
Already we have launched High Aspirations, featuring Casey Bethel, New Manchester High School and 2016 Georgia Teacher of the Year, and Go Teach Others, featuring Lauren Eckman, Georgia Academy of the Blind and 2013 Georgia Teacher of the Year. There will be at least twenty additional PSAs developed and shared through this YouTube channel, as well as GOSA’s Facebook page and Twitter feed, over the next few months. Each will feature an outstanding Georgia teacher, most of them members of the Teacher Advisory Committee, and will share a positive message about the opportunities to change lives and impact the future that are part of becoming a teaching professional.
We invite and encourage you to join us in sharing these messages as widely as possible through your own social media outlets and your local television stations wherever possible. In addition, use them whenever appropriate in your professional meetings and presentations.
Please let me know if we can be of service or assistance to you in spreading the word - #RealTeachersRealVoices!
Martha Ann Todd
Governor’s Office of Student Achievement