Making a difference: Investing in teachers first

If we want our students to learn and excel, the most critical element is the teacher

Peg Maddocks, PhD, Executive Director, NapaLearns
Published on February 28, 2019

Our students deserve the best

Since our founding, we have always focused on investing in teachers first. Why? When all is said and done, we believe that if we want our students to learn and excel, the most critical element is the teacher.

Unfortunately, teacher professional development is inadequate in public schools because of limited funding. What’s unique about our investments is that teachers are leading the sessions to share their best practices with their peers. Teachers are inspiring each other and reigniting their passion in education.

Our investments in developing teachers is crucial during a time when there are teacher shortages and national teacher strikes. Professional development can rejuvenate a teacher’s sense of purpose, leadership skills, and competence in the classroom. We believe it can also lead to improved student outcomes.

We could use your help: At the beginning of the school year, we were challenged to match a grant for $50,000 from Prospect Creek Foundation. So far, we have received $47,000. We’re almost there — thanks to all of you who have already contributed! If 30 more of you could each donate $100, we would make it … but of course, any amount that fits in your budget would be wonderful.

Most recently, we’ve touched more than 500 teachers in the following ways:

150 NapaLearns Fellows Strong

As part of the NapaLearns Fellow program, we subsidized 50% of the cost of participating Napa County teachers to earn their master’s degrees in Innovative Learning at Touro University. This represents 33% of the Master’s degrees held by educators in Napa County. This is huge!

The Digital Innovator Program’s InnovatEd 2019 Conference

Since 2016, the Napa County Office of Education and NapaLearns have partnered to provide Napa Valley teachers hands-on workshops through the Digital Innovator Program to learn new ways to engage students by integrating technology in their classrooms. In addition, we hosted the InnovatEd Conference 2019. Held on February 9th, almost 120 teachers dedicated their Saturday to learning the latest education technology tools — and the strategies to apply them — in project-based learning, career readiness, and STEM.

Teacher working with robots at InnovatEd

Accelerate Math Instructional Coaching Expanded to 56 Teachers

We doubled the number of teachers who are participating in math instructional coaching. Instead of after school workshops, this coaching occurs during classroom lessons. It is more personalized to a teacher’s needs. Initial results indicate that teacher confidence and student engagement have both improved.

To support teacher professional development aimed at improving student outcomes, click on the Donate button below or contact me directly. Every dollar counts!

Gratefully yours,

Peg Maddocks, Ph.D.
Executive Director
In the spring of 2018, NapaLearns was awarded the Napa Valley Nonprofit Excellence Award.
NapaLearns® is a 501c3 nonprofit, EIN: 27-2705006. NapaLearns is a registered trademark. All rights reserved.

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