Time to “TELL” Again: Jan 31-Feb 28

Because we want Colorado educators to have the supportive working conditions they need to help their students achieve, CEA is a partner in the second TELL Survey for teachers and administrators. The survey will be open for four weeks: January 31 through February 28.

“TELL” stands for Teaching, Empowering, Leading, and Learning. School-level results of the 2009 survey have helped teachers and principals improve student instruction and plan school improvements, and we have great hopes that this year’s survey will be even more helpful.

The New Teacher Center (NTC) is overseeing the survey for the second time, along with the TELL Partners: CEA, Colorado AFT, Governor Hickenlooper and the Colorado Department of Education, CASE, CASB, and the League of Charter Schools.

You may wonder who should take the TELL Survey. All full and part-time licensed teachers including instructional coaches, mentor teachers, vocational teachers, literacy specialists, endorsed school librarians, itinerant teachers, long-term substitutes and other specialists such as counselors, special education teachers, speech therapists and audiologists, school psychologists, social workers, and school nurses. Plus all building-level administrators including principals, assistant principals, deans, etc., and all charter school teachers regardless of their licenses.

We are working hard this year to improve the percentage of educators who took the survey in 2009. More than 23,000 educators responded then, about 36 percent. We want to improve this because we know how valuable the survey can be for those who work in every Colorado K-12 school and because we want everyone to have the opportunity to tell about their teaching and learning conditions. Research strongly supports these conditions as major influences on student achievement and teacher retention.

The key findings of the 2009 survey can be found online at the TELL web site, along with information about the 2011 survey. Each school with at least a 50 percent participation rate on the survey will get its own data.

CEA Association Reps have received individual letters for all educators in their schools with personal, anonymous, and confidential security codes that will enable educators to go online and complete the survey in 20-30 minutes anywhere with internet access.

Anyone with a question can contact the TELL Colorado help desk by phone at 888-280-7903 or helpdesk@tellcolorado.org

What else do educators need to know?

1. Get your letter and personal security code from your AR.

2. Take the survey as soon as you can.

3. Encourage your colleagues to take it so you can get well over 50 percent participation in your school (how about 100?).

4. Help CEA put your experiences and perceptions front and center in everyone’s efforts to improve public education for Colorado’s students.


One Response

  1. In the State of the Union Speech this year, President Obama emphasized one message that I think holds particularly true for us as educators. That message is, “We do big things” and we certainly do. As educators we meet kids where they are and work hard to catch them up when they are behind. Educating students is a team effort, like baking a cake, all the key ingredients must be present and in the right proportion.
    So what are the ingredients that are responsible for our students catch-up and keep-up growth? A Chicago study of low performing elementary schools concluded that five essential supports work together as a system to transform low performing schools. Not surprisingly, leadership is the first support and the driver of four others, instructional guidance, teacher professional capacity, school climate, and parent, school, and community ties. No single support can make a sustained impact by itself, our failure is that too often we develop one-off programs geared towards one of the areas mentioned above instead of looking at it as a systemic problem.
    What can we as educators do to ensure that our schools have the right balance of each of these five supports? The first thing we can do is make sure that we have good data on which to base our decisions and that means taking advantage of the opportunity we have this month by participating in the second administration of the TELL Colorado Survey. This survey gathers input on teaching conditions such as time during the day for collaborative instructional planning, school and teacher leadership, professional development, and other supports needed for educators to do their jobs well. The main intent of this anonymous survey is to provide additional data for schools and districts to make improvements in addition to informing state level policy.

    In 2009 Jefferson County had a 53% response rate, this year we are hoping for at least 75%. Let’s get the data and put it to work!

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