May 5, 2022 · 4 min read

The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative Commits New Funding to Support Teacher Communities and Boost Well-Being

As We Celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week, CZI is Announcing New Grants Aimed at Combating Teacher Burnout by Supporting Their Well-Being

2022 | Educators Building Community | Photograph courtesy of Profound Gentlemen
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The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative announced an initial investment of over $4 million to promote teacher well-being. These grants will support a range of professional learning, mentoring, and wellness practices designed to foster connection and community for teachers, supporting teacher retention and strengthening the ability of teachers to support students’ academic achievement and well-being. 

“As we celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week, we know we cannot attend to student learning and well-being without first supporting our teachers,” said Sandra Liu Huang, head of education at the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. “Teachers need high-quality professional development and communities that support and reinforce the fact that connection and academic success go hand in hand.”

After more than two challenging years, teachers are exhausted. According to a RAND survey, half of teachers reported feeling burned out. Teacher well-being influences the entire school community including school culture and climate, instruction, and students’ growth and development–showing teacher well-being and student well-being are inextricably linked. 

By listening to educators and practicing mindful body techniques, we can create conditions for authentic healing and thriving school ecosystems,” said Lindsey Fuller, Executive Director at The Teaching Well. “Giving teachers the time and space to navigate stress, connect with a community of their peers, and strengthen their practice is essential so that they can support the full needs of their students.”

The grants announced today aim to boost educator well-being. Through the work of nonprofits across the country, new and experienced teachers will receive support so they feel less isolated and better equipped to thrive within the profession:

  • FuelEd ($1M) equips educators with the interpersonal skills, self-awareness and emotional well-being necessary to build strong relationships and support students. Their programming focuses on educator self-awareness, personal transformation, and the science of attachment, to help teachers fully support students. 
  • The Teaching Well ($1M) provides wellness coaching, professional development, and spaces for collaboration for educators to increase teacher retention and resilience. Teaching Well’s on-campus support has led to increased retention among their participants.

While burnout affects all teachers, surveys show that educators of color, who are already underrepresented in schools, may leave at greater rates. Teacher well-being is an important teacher retention strategy that contributes to the diversity of the education workforce, and to the success of students of all backgrounds. As part of a commitment to supporting teacher diversity, CZI announced the following additional grants today to community organizations whose work supports teachers of color:

  • Black Male Educators Alliance of Michigan ($500K) helps engage and retain early career and veteran Black male educators.
  • Brothers Liberating Our Communities ($250K) connects, develops and supports Black teachers in Kansas City, MO by providing workshops created by affinity spaces, a professional network, and a two-year fellowship program.
  • Profound Gentlemen ($1M) provides coaching and professional development for current and aspiring male educators of color across the United States.
  • Profound Ladies ($500K) supports the recruitment and retention of Black, Indigenous women of color. 
  • Tennessee Educators of Color Alliance ($500K) engages a statewide network of educators of color and provides opportunities for mentorship and leadership development. 

Male educators of color are five times more likely than other demographics to leave the profession,” said Juan Lascano, Senior Strategic Operations Partner of Profound Gentlemen. “If we want to keep teachers of color in our schools, then we must invest in their well-being and give them the tools they need to be their authentic selves in the classroom.” 

The grants are part of the $500 million investment CZI announced in December 2020 to support organizations leading the way to advance racial equity, diversity, and inclusion efforts.

Standing with a growing community of partners, CZI is working to equip teachers with the research, tools and allies they need to support the learning and well-being of all children. For more information about how CZI and our grant partners are supporting student well-being, visit chanzuckerberg.com/education/well-being.

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About the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative

The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative was founded in 2015 to help solve some of society’s toughest challenges — from eradicating disease and improving education, to addressing the needs of our local communities. Our mission is to build a more inclusive, just, and healthy future for everyone. For more information, please visit chanzuckerberg.com.

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