– teaching working conditions surveys

Years ago (and up through 2018) I did work for the New Teacher Center in California working with some talented folks there to develop and manage a survey system for administering and reporting on “teacher working conditions”. It was a new avenue for me, and I learned a lot about the education space over the years on that project.

Externally, the project was known as “TELL” – Teaching, Empowering, Leading and Learning. The survey administration and reporting served as the basis for schools to identify issues and develop improvement plans. By periodically remeasuring the school teacher climate (“climate surveys” was another phrase I learned then!), schools, districts and even states could have a better understanding of which changes were leading to improvements.

In 2018, NTC decided to stop providing the teacher working conditions project. There was a change of focus at NTC, and they’d decided the TELL project wasn’t something that fit their new focus, so no new working conditions surveys were scheduled.

Bit of background – the majority of surveys we did were for entire states (Kentucky, North Carolina, Tennessee, Delaware, Ohio, etc). As you can imagine, it’s a moderately large effort (and expense) to coordinate something like this for a whole state. Over the years, we’d had requests from smaller entities (school districts, mostly) to use the service, but the original process and survey hadn’t been designed to ‘scale down’ too quickly to easily support smaller organizations.

Taking that idea, a former colleague from the project and I put together a somewhat scaled back version of the earlier system. The new system can be found at We’re in a testing phase right now, and are in discussion with a couple of districts to pilot the new system soon.

If you’re interested in learning more, please reach out to me at – or 919-827-4724. I’d be happy to talk to you about how working with climate surveys can help your school or district.

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