There are many groups of people who are instrumental in the empowerment of educators. Parents, communities, school administrators, and even students hold the keys to empower teachers. Bolin (1989) stated that “teacher empowerment is defined as investing teachers with the right to participate in the determination of school goals and policies and to exercise professional judgment about what and how to teach” (p. 82). To that end, there are several ways teacher empowerment can improve for educators of every grade level, and it must begin with giving teachers the tools to do so.
Empowering Teachers with Helpful Tools
A variety of tools, resources and supportive materials is crucial to teachers being empowered in the classroom. Not only can educators rely on the tools, methods, and opportunities that administrators give them, but they can also (and should) seek out tools and information that will encourage new ideas and methods to grow. When teachers are empowered, students, parents, and other educators become more empowered.
The CK-12 Foundation has many tools, resources, and support guides to help teachers do exactly that. With webinars, blogs, simulations, programs, and materials designed exclusively for teachers, educators are able to access crucial tools that will help them in the classroom in dozens of ways. Teachers can join groups with other educators, access planning materials and teaching props, find and use educational information, and implement what they find into their teaching every day of school. CK-12 also has available many resources for students in several subjects for all grades, which can help bridge the gap between students and teachers, providing both with a unified access point for instruction.
Back to School with PLIX and Flexbooks
With the CK-12 Foundation’s Back to School Campaign, teachers are able to access a vast amount of information and resources for free, and without the high costs of traditional textbooks. Educators can take advantage of PLIX and Flexbooks, which are unique to CK-12. PLIX stands for Play – Learn – Interact – Xplore, and the program uses Flexbooks, which are the opposite of textbooks. Teachers can customize and create their own Flexbooks to focus on specific subject areas, enhancing the effectiveness and ease of comprehension of lessons taught.
The tools available from CK-12 to empower teachers cover the most essential core subjects, some of which include arithmetic, measurement, physical science, life science, earth science, SAT exam prep, engineering and technology, English, history, geometry, chemistry, and many others. The website also offers a library and Stoodle classrooms, making it easy to learn from and teach fellow peers online.
The Back to School Campaign program is also flexible; teachers can use the website to create lesson plans, and get off on the right foot this school year by building a personalized back-to-school box of resources for their classrooms. Some of the items available include quiz samples, name tags, science jobs posters, Flexbook samples, back-to-school lists, and more.
For more information on how CK-12 works to empower teachers, and for materials, tips, support, and tools for teachers and students of all grades, explore the CK12.org website.