More Money Given To The Best Teachers To Train Their Peers
by Aundrea Cline-Thomas
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - A teacher is the single most important factor in a child's progress. Getting a good one is crucial, especially when so many Metro students are struggling to get ahead. That's why some schools are offering an incentive to keep the best teachers in the classroom to help their peers.
In her nearly three decades as an educator, Renee Morgan didn't want to leave the classroom for a higher paying job in administration.
"I wanted to be on the ground level," Morgan said. "I wanted to be where the children were."
She's one of three multi classroom leaders at Buena Vista Elementary.
"I'm shoulder to shoulder with teachers," she said. "I go in the classroom. I help teacher develop their program."
It's a new position where teachers with a track record of success mentor their peers by working in groups and individually to develop new strategies. They even teach smaller groups of struggling students, giving them the one-on-one attention they need.
"It gives them opportunities to ask questions that they may be afraid to ask in a whole group setting," classroom leader Joi Mitchell said. "This is just more personalized for them."
In exchange the classroom leaders earn $1,500 dollars for every teacher they oversee; that amounts to on average a 20 percent increase in pay. They are also no longer just responsible for one classroom, the test scores of the entire grade factors into their evaluations.
"It is a big responsibility," Morgan said. "I mean it's massive, but it's not something that can't be done."
With more money comes increased responsibility, but it's not the financial rewards that brought them here in the first place.
Robert Churchwell Elementary and Bailey Middle Schools are also implementing similar positions. It's helping teachers improve so they can reach the students who need their help the most.