25 Jul Every Kid Deserves World-Class Supports…
I have been blessed to serve as a public school educator for about 15 years. I have worked in foster homes, Detention Centers and in 3 different large public high schools, both with urban needs as well as suburban youth. My No-Nonsense Nurturer (NNN) training came when I was the building principal at Princeton High School in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Princeton district opted to use grant money to fund the implementation of NNN. I was in charge of managing a building of over 100 adults and was a cultural leader hired to lead instructional progress and ultimately student success in a high school who had rapidly changing demographics and needs over a 10-year span. Because of the quick change in student and family needs, and the massive budget cuts that Princeton City Schools suffered, the reality was, our student’s and families’ needs were changing yet our staff was not getting any additional training and or support on serving them. Our students with disabilities, students from economically disadvantaged homes and students from minority backgrounds were failing and being disciplined at a higher rate than their white, typical peers/peers not qualifying for Free and Reduced Lunch.
Most of my teachers came from different backgrounds than the young people we were leading, and most of my staff had been teaching for 10+ years, in a building whose students and needs were very different. My teachers were experts. They were passionate and they were good. But with the needs of our students changing, we were struggling to feel like we could continue to offer the services and education we had always been able to. Our discipline and academic data confirmed this.
CT3 trains, retrains, and systematizes advocating for and teaching all young people, especially students who may come from different cultures than ourselves, and who qualify as economically disadvantaged. Similar to Ruby Payne’s “Framework for Understanding Poverty,” the program educates educators on who they could be serving, whose experiences may be very different than theirs/ours.
The No-Nonsense Nurturer training gave me the systems to support teachers who wanted to be supported and provide differently for their students, but just had not been given something so easy to learn and implement with support, immediately. The online program caused me, and I believe I am a culturally aware student advocate, to reflect on my leadership, my contributions to a school, a culture, families and community. My reflections and growth humbled me and supported me in leading with clear methods and strategies to support my teachers and create a more solid environment at school, to support more students in learning and succeeding. Under the implementation of NNN, our academic achievements increased, student discipline rates drastically decreased, in addition to our staff and family service survey results were higher than they had ever been before. We were supporting teachers to love kids, no-nonsense, and to nurture them with clearly communicated high expectations and tools to follow through.
CT3 is not creating robots – actually just the opposite. Colleges put teacher candidates through the same curriculum and the same programs. Teachers are all trained one way, and then are chosen to advocate for students and families in districts without any real additional training. What is important to your students? Their families? The community? What is the culture of the school? What are motivators? What are the needs and expectations of your parents? How many teachers quit year after year? How many teachers are teaching in low-income communities and while some may genuinely love their students, are just not finding success? This causes high teacher burnout, because you aren’t able to help the young people you care so deeply for and work so hard to help.
Our kids deserve better, as do families and our teachers. CT3 gives teachers and administrators coaching, to observe them in application of what they know and do, and then provides real time feedback and training to get better. As a principal, I saw my teachers build confidence in their management ability, so they could focus on building relationships and student learning. I saw my students trust the adults who truly care about their progress, and not numbers, power, or control. Making it a priority to contact homes, to restore relationships after mistakes have been made and to be so aware of the young people in your classroom. Every kid deserves a teacher with the best support the world has to offer.
by Jaclyn Cruse
Mother, Student Advocate & Educational Leader