Transforming the Culture of Education: Improving Teacher Working Conditions

A virtual screening and discussion about a new documentary on improving teacher working conditions, presented by REL Midwest and Detroit Public TV

Join us Thursday, May 13, at 3pm ET on Facebook Live for a virtual discussion

What helps teachers excel in their classrooms? What conditions can schools create to attract the best people to the teaching profession and retain them? What resources and support do they need to make the greatest positive impact on the education of their students?

Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Midwest has produced a 30-minute documentary, in collaboration with Detroit Public TV, to explore these questions and how districts and schools can develop supportive working environments for teachers. The film is entitled, “Transforming the Culture of Education: Improving Teacher Working Conditions.”

In a special one-hour virtual event on May 13 from 3-4pm ET, Detroit Public TV will screen this important documentary and then offer a lively, frank panel discussion on the issues raised in the film, moderated by Sarah Rand of REL Midwest.

RSVP to get a reminder for the event on Facebook here >

The panelists are some of the educators and experts featured in the film:

  • Derrick Coleman, Superintendent, River Rouge School District; River Rouge, MI
  • Carol Dawson, Principal, Grant Elementary School; Grant, MI
  • Natalya Gnedko-Berry, Senior Researcher, REL Midwest at the American Institutes for Research (AIR)
  • Lucy Steiner, Senior Vice President of Educator Excellence & Implementation Services, Public Impact

An important lesson in the film is that teachers are more likely to stay in the profession when they feel satisfied with their job, which can lead to improved student outcomes.

While some of the documentary was produced before the pandemic, it includes a section on how COVID-19 has affected working conditions for teachers.

Working conditions are defined as school environmental factors that influence teacher job satisfaction. This documentary focuses on three elements of teacher working conditions: Leading Schools to Success, Empowering Teachers Through Leadership and Creating Meaningful Professional Development,

REL Midwest also produced a documentary viewing guide that is available for download. To learn more about our work in this area, visit the Midwest Alliance to Improve Teacher Preparation webpage.

This documentary is a product of the REL Midwest Alliance to Improve Teacher Preparation, which is dedicated to improving student access to high-quality teachers across Michigan.