Barbara Dalio, Founder and Director of Dalio Education, today announced that her organization is sponsoring “Teachers of Connecticut,” an online platform dedicated to amplifying the voices of teachers across the state. The idea for the platform came from teachers themselves, emerging during a series of conversations convened by Dalio this past spring.
“One of the things we kept hearing was that teachers sometimes feel as if their voices aren’t being heard. With so much noise out there on so many different channels, they sometimes feel as if their voices are getting lost in the mix,” she said. “So that’s what this is: simply a platform for them to tell their stories, unfiltered, in their own words.”
The teachers featured as part of the platform’s launch were recommended by an Advisory Group of teachers and civic leaders, which was convened to help lead the initiative and ensure it achieves its mission of supporting public school teachers. The Advisory Group includes the following members:
- Rich Baez, Harbor Elementary School, New London Public Schools
- Dale Bernardoni, CT Managing Director, Fund for Teachers
- David Bosso, Berlin High School, Berlin Public Schools
- Roxanne J. Coady, Founder and CEO, R.J. Julia Booksellers
- Barbara Dalio, Founder and Director, Dalio Education
- Andrew Ferguson, Chief Education Officer, Dalio Education
- Sheena Graham, Warren Harding High School, Bridgeport Public Schools
- Joshua Hall, Weaver High School, Hartford Public Schools
- Chris Poulos, Joel Barlow High School, Region 9 Public Schools
- Dwight Sharpe, Consultant, State Education Resource Center
“The stories I’ve heard over the years from teachers are amazing: why they became teachers, what motivates them, the joy they feel when they break through and really connect with a student, and maybe most of all, the pride they feel when their students go on to do interesting things in life, and then come back to thank them for having been their teacher,” Dalio said.
“Storytelling helps people to connect to one another, to understand different perspectives and experiences. Stories can build empathy. They can empower others. The stories that are already published on the Teachers of Connecticut platform are so powerful and inspiring, and truly humanizing, which means so much in our profession where teachers are not always appreciated as people with deep passion for the work we do, ” said Sheena Graham. “I find myself continually returning to read the stories again and again.”
“In the way that it lifts up teacher voice, the platform stands as a wonderful affirmation of the extraordinary work that teachers do. The stories show how deeply teachers care about their students, and their tremendous dedication, creativity, and resourcefulness in even the most difficult of times,” said Chris Poulos. “My hope is that by elevating teacher voice, the platform will provide a context and awareness for policymakers that will enable them to better understand the implications of their decisions on classroom practice.”
“Teachers are always solutions-oriented, but they had to stretch even further than ever before when schools shut down in March 2020 because of the pandemic. Without warning or training, teachers were thrown into an entirely new world of remote learning and had to figure out how to engage students virtually,” said Dale Bernadoni. “There were many heroes who stepped forward to meet the challenges presented by the pandemic, and teachers were certainly among those at the forefront. Spotlighting some of the many classroom innovations that emerged, both small and large, will help recognize their efforts and help those innovations to outlast the pandemic.”
“The stories on the Teachers of Connecticut platform will cover a wide range of topics: innovations during the pandemic, a teacher’s personal journey into the profession, the why behind a specific practice and how it impacts students, and more. Common to all stories will be their genesis, from the heart and soul of Connecticut’s teachers, and their purpose, to uplift, to celebrate, and to inspire,” said Sheena Graham.