Survey reports teachers' experiences

New teachers at South Lane School District fall behind state averages in regards to mentorship but the majority of educators in the area plan to continue teaching at their current schools. This, according to the 2018 TELL survey released earlier this week. 

The survey, which stands for Teaching, Empowering, Leading and Learning, is nationally recognized and attempts to quantify the experiences of educators at a local level. In South Lane, 76 percent of teachers took part in the survey compared to 54 percent overall across the state. 

The survey is broken into several subjects including new teacher support, instructional practices and school leadership. According to the data, South Lane measures up nearly exactly with responses from across the state—SLSD and the state average for years the respondents spent as an educator were 37 percent—but it differs on a handful of issues. 

When asked if they felt they needed more professional development for English language learners, 59 percent of SLSD educators gave an affirmative answer. The statewide average was 49 percent. Educators at SLSD also felt they needed additional development for “culturally responsive curriculum,” (53 percent) while the state average was 47 percent. 

While the survey lists 26 percent of the 76 percent of respondents as teachers in their first two years of teaching, less than half said they were formally assigned a mentor (47 percent). Statewide, 79 percent of new teachers said they were assigned mentors. 

South Lane teachers think their classroom sizes are manageable, according to the data and that the district minimizes routine paperwork for its staff. They also note that they have time to collaborate with colleagues (53 percent agree with the statement) but when asked how much time is permitted for collaboration during the school day, 60 percent of SLSD staff said it was less than an hour. At Cottage Grove High School, 80 percent of respondents said they also spent less than an hour on collaboration. Statewide it was 46 percent. 

When asked if their immediate plans for the future included continuing to teach at their current school, stay in the district at a different school, move to another district or leave education, 89 percent of SLSD faculty said they planned to continue at their current school. 

For complete results of the survey, visit 

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