Remote learning, improved mental health supports for students and teachers, and recruiting and retaining more teachers of color were just some of the topics Education Commissioner Charlene Russell-Tucker discussed as a guest on the most recent episode of CEA’s Podcast, Two T’s in a Pod.
She joined CEA President Kate Dias and Vice President Joslyn DeLancey in applauding the legislature’s focus on children’s mental health this year.
“I’m excited we’re having the conversation about the importance of social emotional and mental health supports for our students as foundational to their success,” she said. “I’ve always advocated that we’ve got to pay attention to the non-academic barriers to learning because, without that focus, we won’t achieve the same level of success.”
Saying that school staff must be at their best in order to give their best, Russell-Tucker said that, as commissioner, “My big audacious goal is that, in Connecticut, we’ll have a sustainable system of coordinated care for all our K-12 schools to have the support, not only for our students, but for our staff as well.”
In closing, acknowledging the challenges of recent school years, Russell-Tucker asked Dias and DeLancey to talk to members and let her know what the State Department of Education can do this summer, ahead of next school, to better support teachers. “What can we do for our educators to say, ‘We see you; we hear you.’ What can we do for you so that your buckets can become full again?”
Listen to the entire episode below or wherever you get your podcasts.