Teachers 'Amazing' at their Jobs
What happens in classrooms on any given day in Rockford Public Schools is inspiring. When that inspired work happens during a pandemic, I am even more grateful for our district’s teachers.
Because of the pandemic, we need to mark National Teacher Day differently. In past years, you might have received cards and cookies. This year, I want to get to the heart of the value teachers bring to students and families.
What better way to do that than in their own words?
In this year’s School Quality Survey, families were given an opportunity to provide feedback on open-ended questions. It is always great to hear positive things about our schools and the people who work there. But when our families say positive things during a pandemic – with all its disruptions – I am even more proud.
There were so many shoutouts about our teachers. I am honored to provide a sample of some of my favorites.
Below are verbatim responses to the survey question: Why are you so likely to recommend this school to a friend or colleague?
My daughter is doing very well at Flinn Middle School. She is always telling me how supportive and uplifting her teachers are and it’s amazing how often I get to hear of the positive interactions she has with all the staff members. I enjoy the content that she is learning and how she is able to apply such things towards goals she has for life after college.
I get tears in my eyes on how above and beyond the teachers at Auburn High School have been for my son, especially this year. They are working all hours of the day. My son may get a message at 10 p.m. from the Economics teacher telling him that he did a good job on his project or test, and my son absolutely appreciates it. The feedback that the teachers continue to provide and the extra support and effort have been outstanding. I wish there was more room to write!
My son is in online preschool (at Fairview). I believe it has been very organized by our teacher. She is helpful when needed and I have had clear and precise instruction through it all. I mean online preschool … really? What is that? I don’t believe it could have been done any differently than how Mrs. Kalli (Bruck) has done it. She is amazing at her job.
My child has an IEP and Barbour and RPS 205 have been excellent in supporting my child, keeping us involved in her academic progress and making sure her goals are met. It has been difficult for my child to engage in remote learning, so giving her the opportunity to do both has been very helpful. The staff is great starting from the secretaries to the principal.
In this crazy year, Mrs. (Jaime) Doubek of Hillman has been a shining light in our daughter’s life. She’s always so happy to attend remote classes.
Let’s consider Mrs. Doubek: She said teaching kindergarten remotely during the pandemic was like learning a whole new job. As she learned, she was honest with parents. She asked them for insights or ways they could help her.
Parents were eager. They reached out to her, saying, “I noticed that you had trouble with this. Would you like to practice it with me? I’ve got some time right now.”
Mrs. Doubek credits her connection with families to an underrated quality of good teaching: being vulnerable. ”We feel like we know more,” she said. “Sometimes we don’t. We need to let the parents know we need them.”
It’s clear from the survey the feeling is mutual.
For dedication like that of Mrs. Doubek – and teachers across our district – I am grateful. Over two difficult years, teachers are redefining commitment to students and families. On National Teacher Day and every day, teachers make a difference.
Superintendent Dr. Ehren Jarrett
Dr. Ehren Jarrett is in his eighth academic year leading the Rockford Public Schools. The Board of Education appointed him superintendent in July 2013. Jarrett joined the district's leadership team in June 2011 as an assistant superintendent. He earned a doctorate in Educational Leadership from Northern Illinois University, and the school's College of Education has honored him as Alumni of the Year. Dr. Jarrett also serves on the NIU Alumni Board. He is a member of the Alignment Rockford Governing Board, the Discovery Center Board of Directors and the Board of Directors for the Rockford Area Economic Development Council. He is a member of the Ford NGL Leadership Council and its Superintendent's Council. In addition, Dr. Jarrett is president of the Large Unit District Association, which represents school districts in Illinois that serve at least 3,500 students. He lives in Rockford with his wife, Christie, and their two children.
- School Quality Survey
- Super's Update
- Teacher Appreciation Week