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Teacher Support
Teacher Leadership
District Culture
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All Teacher Seminar

These professional learning opportunities are geared towards supporting your induction into Polk County Public Schools and are held monthly. Each session focuses on key areas that are critical to becoming a successful teacher and will equip you with strategies to improve your instruction.

Stay tuned for the the upcoming All Teacher Seminars for the 2022-2023 school year!

New Teacher Chats

Teacher Engagement has the privilege of building relationships with teachers within the district. We love connecting with teachers and hearing their stories. If you are new to Polk County Public Schools, new to your school’s campus, or this is your first year, we would like you to take some time and provide us with feedback- good and bad! Let’s connect!

Teacher Engagement Ambassadors

The Teacher Engagement Ambassador Program utilizes classroom teachers to provide individualized support to new teachers as a school-based extension of Teacher Engagement. This personalized support is a content-neutral role providing social-emotional support to reduce feelings of isolation new teachers report experiencing. Teacher Engagement  Ambassadors are integral in school-based leadership teams advocating on behalf of and in conjunction with Campus Induction Coordinators (CIC) to ensure a quality work experience for new teachers. 

Through the support of Teacher Engagement Ambassadors: 

    • there will be an increase in the retention of new teachers. 
    • there will be an increase in the perception of positive school culture.
    • there will be an increase in new teachers’ sense of support and belonging.
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Leading from the Classroom

Leading from the Classroom is a teacher leadership program designed to empower teachers who desire to make an impact beyond the walls of their classroom without having to leave the classroom.

Once accepted, teachers commit to engaging in ongoing collaboration via monthly meetings that alternate between face-to-face meetings and Twitter chats. Each meeting focuses on conversations about realizing the challenges they are facing as Polk educators and using collaboration and research to make a positive influence on those challenges.

The program integrates expert keynote speakers, book studies on peer collaboration and shifting school culture, problems of practice protocols, and specific, accountable goal setting.

In the end, teachers complete the program with a better idea of what it means to be a teacher leader, a concrete plan to make positive change in the upcoming school year, and the resources to make that change happen.

LFC Members & Action Plans

Emerge Symposium

Emerge Symposium is a teacher-led mini-conference that provides an opportunity for PCPS educators to learn from each other and leave inspired and equipped to make a greater impact in their schools.

This year’s theme is based on the book Upstream by Dan Heath. Heath captures the essence of the book perfectly by saying, “So often we find ourselves reacting to problems, putting out fires, dealing with emergencies. We should shift our attention to preventing them.”

Our district has countless educators taking action on their campuses to work to prevent problems, rather than react to them. If you can identify with the mission of getting free of the cycle of response and addressing issues before they happen, we want to hear from YOU! What are you doing that’s proactive, innovative, and has the potential to diminish barriers others may see as insurmountable?

The next Emerge Symposium will be held in the spring of the 2023 school year. Stay tuned for further details and an opportunity to present during one of the breakout sessions!

Here were some of the phenomenal presenters at the 2022 Emerge Symposium:

Amber Screen, Oscar J. Pope Elementary
Brandy Cannoy, Jesse Keen Elementary

Christine Harrison, Valley View Elementary
Julie Drawdy, Alturas Elementary School
Kathy Cubbage, Ridge Community High
Krystal James, Lena Vista Elementary
Leah Bortnick, Lake Gibson High
Michelle Hunt, Crystal Lake Elementary
Morgan Mercer, R. Clem Churchwell Elementary
Natalie McSwain, Lake Gibson High
Pablo Martinez Torres, District
Taylor Cameron, Lena Vista Elementary

Mental Health Team

Stay Chat

Teacher Engagement appreciates your commitment to PCPS and the work you are doing daily with your students. Your contribution to our District is invaluable and we are thrilled that you’ve chosen to teach here. We would love to meet with you for a Stay Chat to hear what you enjoy about teaching in Polk County Public Schools! Let’s connect!

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The Ignite Project Podcast

The Teacher Engagement department at Polk County Public Schools puts its heart and energy into its three main priorities: teacher support, teacher leadership, and district culture. The Ignite Project podcast is a perfect blend of these three areas. It elevates the voices of some of PCPS’s most passionate educators as a way to fuel the drive to be innovative and resilient in today’s classrooms. Hear each guest tell their stories, share their experiences, and get real with what is truly making a difference in the lives of our students and staff. We hope that you’ll join our project to ignite transformation in our schools.

Know Different Newsletter

What’s Know Different?

Teachers repeatedly say that they prefer learning that comes from other teachers, knowing they can relate to their experiences and can say, with confidence, that particular strategies are making an impact. In these newsletters, you’ll get a peek inside the classrooms of PCPS teachers who are no different from you, but simply “know different” as they’ve tried new ideas and encountered different experiences.

Our goal in Teacher Engagement is to support ALL teachers in their journey in growing their craft – mainly by providing a way to showcase the incredible instruction going on in our great district and creating a forum for teachers to connect and learn from each other. Looking to make a change? Then take a look at what teachers are doing who know different!

Check out our issues of Know Different:

February 2021

December 2020

September 2020 

March 2020
February 2020
January 2020
December 2019

November 2019
October 2019
September 2019

Meet Our Team

Contact Us

Office of Recruitment & Teacher Engagement |  Polk County Public Schools
1907 South Floral Avenue, Bartow, Florida 33830
T: 863-534-0781 |
teacherengagement@polk-fl.net| polkschoolsfl.com

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