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Innovative, Strengths-Based Teacher Retention Strategies Highlighted at MASA Conference

Kelly Coffin

 

Dr. Kelly Coffin
Assistant Superintendent of Innovation and Strategic Initiatives
Farmington Public Schools

The Fall MASA Conference held in Traverse City, Michigan did not disappoint.  This conference, according to MASA, was extremely well attended with over 600 attendees.

As a member of the Board for the Future of Learning Council, I was thrilled to see a packed house for our presentation.  It was invigorating to see fellow educators in the room learning more about the FLC and how they can engage in this important work.  Connections were made and business cards were shared and we added more leaders to the Future of Learning network across the state!  

As a participant, I attended a session with representatives from Arizona State University, Michigan Virtual, and Alpena Public Schools to discuss the very important topic of teacher retention and how we, as educational leaders, must look differently at our school structures.  The presenters shared examples where the field of teaching is becoming less isolating and emphasized the need to focus on teacher strengths to ensure learners have access to a multitude of resources from quality educators.  We know the profession as a whole has been struggling, and the pandemic definitely has not helped the situation.  

Facilitated by Mark Schneiderman, Senior Director, Future of Teaching & Learning with D2L, the speakers focused on strategies for teacher retention in spite of the barriers we may encounter.  Kaycee Slamacia, Senior Director for Next Education Workforce Initiative at Arizona State University challenged the group to redesign education–requiring educational leaders to think  differently around how students and teachers work together on a regular basis. It is important, according to Slamacia, that we begin to distribute expertise to ensure we are meeting the needs of each and every learner through more personalized learning experiences.  

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