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A Shared Commitment: Faculty Tenure at The LP

At a Learning Project Open House this fall, a prospective parent commented on the long tenure of our school’s lead teaching faculty and asked what the school does to achieve this. At the time, I truly did not have a concrete answer, and also didn’t know if the tenure of our faculty could, in fact, be considered ‘long.’ And while I still don’t know exactly how tenure at The LP stacks up to other independent schools in our area, or in our category of elementary day schools in general, our lead teaching faculty tenure averages over ten years, which feels good.


Ten years is enough to provide consistency and stability, to be able to build a community around and a sense of connection to both current students and alumni. Yet, it also provides for turnover every now and again that is so healthy to an institution, allowing for a balance of institutional memory and fresh perspectives, as well as the development of new relationships balanced with the comfort and support of longtime friends.


The Learning Project offers one-year contracts, and each spring faculty members have the option to renew their contracts or to move on at the conclusion of the school year. In order to gain an understanding of why faculty tends to remain at The Learning Project, I checked in with our teachers to learn more, asking them to share their top 3-5 reasons why they stay with us year after year.


The following lists the top five reasons cited by Learning Project faculty, as well as some direct quotes that they submitted. I share them here today as a gesture of gratitude to the current and past members of our Learning Project community for fostering and maintaining a wonderful place to work.


-Justin


Top 5 Reasons for Remaining at The Learning Project:

1)  The school’s earnest focus on educating the whole child.

2)  The sense of community, and feelings of warmth, inclusion and support.

3)  Our colleagues, and positive staff culture.

4)  A shared commitment to our Mission by all constituents.

5)  The school’s uniquely small size.


Quotes from Faculty:

I get to work with and around people who are so creative and brilliant all the time. I get inspiration from the dedication and relentless positive outlook of fellow teachers, administrators and you. I believe in the mission of the school and admire everyone's work around improving the school for all.


The people I have met here aren't just coworkers, they are people who I know will be part of my life forever and genuinely care about me.


From the students to the parents to the alums to the faculty/staff, this group of people truly want to work together to make the world a better place and I think that's really uncommon.


I believe that home isn't a building, it's a place where people are loved, supported, and challenged to be better and I feel all of those things at The LP. 


The opportunity we have to be working with people with different backgrounds is something that I have always appreciated so much. One of the things I enjoy most in my life is learning from other people's experiences.


The culture that The LP has created around our faculty and staff makes my job so much easier and enjoyable. I know that I am heard and seen by my colleagues.


Working here I feel fortunate to be surrounded by other thoughtful, skilled, and hardworking staff. My coworkers' dedication reminds me of the rising tide that lifts all boats. I like that I can engage in meaningful conversations about our work, and in turn be challenged in my own point of view as well.


The LP is imbued with a unique culture that includes focusing on character, having hard conversations, sustainability, and strong work ethic. This constellation of values and the community's commitment to them isn't always found everywhere else. The strength of the school culture has kept calling me back and energizes me in new ways in my teaching. 


I think there is a special, full circle bond between LP faculty/staff, students, and families. Being such a small school and one that includes traditions and gatherings that bring all parties together helps us get to know each other so well, making The LP feel like another home or family. Being a part of tight-knit communities has so many benefits in life, and being part of the LP community certainly brings many to mine.


Also, just Marlborough Street is really pretty!



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