Teachers want a Georgia Teacher Center

1½8/00 − Following the Nov. 15 meeting at Kennesaw State University of the final…

Georgia (Nov 27, 2000) — Teachers want a Georgia Teacher Center



1½8/00 − Following the Nov. 15 meeting at Kennesaw State University of the final teacher focus group‚ Georgia Teacher Center Director David Watts and his staff will begin prioritizing ways the GTC can help teachers as they strive to improve public education.

Four focus groups of K−12 teachers representing more than 35 schools in 20 counties met in Savannah‚ Macon‚ Tifton and Gainesville before the final group met at KSU. Some of the best teachers in the state have participated in the regional meetings suggesting ways to make their GTC work and expressing a willingness to do anything to make it happen.

"I am excited about helping to shape the Georgia Teacher Center‚" said Lost Mountain Middle School teacher and member of Governor Barnes Education Reform Study Committee Elizabeth Rhodes. "It is a wonderful opportunity to learn from the best teachers in the state. The most important things I ever learned about being an effective teacher I learned from other teachers."

David Watts briefly summarized the findings from the first focus groups for the teachers at the Kennesaw State meeting. His findings indicate teachers want four things from the GTC: They want more information on education reform at the state level and how reform will affect teaching; they want improvements in communication to reduce feelings of teacher isolation; they want help restructuring their schools so that they have more time to reflect‚ think and plan; and finally‚ teachers want leadership training and access to resources they can use to become instructional leaders in their schools. They want all of these things in order to create sustained increases in student achievement.

Pierce County High School teacher Elaine Stephens thinks the idea of a GTC is so important that she drove 271 miles from Blackshear‚ a small community in southeast Georgia‚ to attend the focus group. "As a teacher from 'the other Georgia‚' outside the Atlanta area‚" said Stephens‚ "I see the Georgia Teacher Center as a source of support‚ help and interaction for all Georgia teachers."

Focus group teachers will be called on in the future to confirm priorities‚ to disseminate information throughout their schools and to ensure the Georgia Teacher Center remains the teacher's center.


A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu