Published Feb 05, 2020 by Sophia Guevara
On January 24, the Partnership's Public Education Advisory Committee, chaired by Andy Waite, Co-President, SCF Partners, hosted a panel discussion featuring public educators in Houston. Sarah Tredway, an ESL Kindergarten Teacher at Baker-Ripley Elementary, Adrian Hudson a Fourth Grade Math Teacher at Sinclair Elementary, and Jennifer Collier the Principal at Spring Woods High School, met with members of the committee to discuss recruitment to the teaching profession, teacher retention and the impact of the passage of House Bill 3, Texas' school finance reform legislation, on their work.
Tredway and Hudson opened the discussion by highlighting the importance of having strong teacher mentors when they joined the teaching profession. Collier presented an overarching strategy to recruit and retain teachers by providing support to develop teachers individually. She highlighted successful methods to improve teacher retention, including hiring a teacher support specialist, who focuses on supporting new teachers, and she discussed incentivizing successful teachers to continue to teach.
Hudson discussed the importance of facilitated peer-to-peer collaboration and mentoring, whereby teachers can learn strategies from each other and apply them in the classroom. He also expressed an interest in partnering with the business community to create opportunities for students to learn about careers in the region.
Regarding the passage of House Bill 3, Tredway applauded the increased funding for early childhood literacy. She discussed the positive impacts it will have on her students and how it can improve student outcomes in early childhood and beyond. Hudson and Collier echoed the appreciation for the increase in new state funding for public education, particularly in support of teachers.
The committee will continue to develop forums like this to engage with educators and classrooms.