In this session, LaQueshia Jeffries, a special educator with Fairfax County Public Schools, Lauren Snider Thompson, assistant instructor at the University of Pennsylvania, and Dr. Kisha Walker, an academic coordinator at Walden University, discuss teacher burnout, including the causes, progression, and effects on teachers, students, and schools as more teachers leave the profession due to overwork and lack of resources and support. Our speakers will have an open dialogue about developing resilience and a growth mind-set, cultivating supportive school environments, and enacting change at the institutional level to address this pressing issue in American education. Our speakers will provide concrete tips for our audience to incorporate into their teaching practices.
Lauren Snider Thompson, Positive Psychology Practitioner, Assistant Principal, Graduation Coach, Assistant Instructor at University of Pennsylvania
Lauren Snider Thompson holds a Master of Applied Positive Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania and works to help increase resilience and well-being of self, teams, and organizations as an administrator in a public school. She also enjoys coaching high school varsity girls’ basketball and working with college students and faculty as a guest lecturer at Wittenberg University and as an assistant instructor at the University of Pennsylvania. Outside of her role in education, Thompson works with organizations to help build staff resilience and well-being while providing education on how to create positive work ecosystems. Her professional focus is on the reform of education programs to include teacher well-being and resilience training for all educators. In addition to her master’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania, Thompson also holds a master’s in educational leadership from Purdue University and a bachelor’s degree from Wittenberg University.
LaQueshia Jeffries, Special Educator, Fairfax County Public Schools
LaQueshia Jeffries earned her MS in Education from Walden University in 2018. Jeffries is a special educator who is passionate about social emotional learning and mental health awareness and support for teachers. She created the Teacher & Taking Care Facebook group and YouTube channel for teachers. Jeffries has led workshops on social emotional learning and mental health at Rutgers University Newark and Temple University, as well as the Teacher Self-Care Conference. Her mission of positive social change is evident in her efforts to enlighten teachers on wellness and self-care.
Dr. Kisha Walker, Academic Coordinator, Walden University
Dr. Kisha Walker holds a BA in Criminal Justice from Temple University, an MS in Administration of Juvenile Justice from Shippensburg University, and a Master’s in Special Education from Arcadia University. She earned her doctorate in education with a specialization in curriculum and instruction from Capella University. Dr. Walker also holds National Board Certification from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards as an Exceptional Needs Teacher and holds a reading and coaching endorsement.
As a former special education administrator, Dr. Walker provides training and support to special education teachers and paraprofessionals in implementing standards-based and adapted curriculum plans for students with exceptionalities, conducting professional development opportunities, and ensuring compliance. Dr. Walker’s passion for the field of education and teaching those entering the field extends to her work as a trainer and lifelong learner. In 2014, she published a children’s book focused on empowering children to reach for their dreams despite obstacles they may face.
Dr. Walker joined Walden University in 2009 as a university supervisor. From 2014 to 2018, she served as a contributing faculty member for The Richard W. Riley College of Education and Leadership where she taught a variety of graduate courses. Dr. Walker is now the academic coordinator of the Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) Special Education specialization, where she serves in a leadership capacity, supporting both instructors and students. In addition, she serves as a doctoral committee member for several doctoral students, a university supervisor, a course writer, and a council member for several committees. Dr. Walker was awarded a Faculty Excellence Award in July 2018. She recently completed a culturally proficient coaching endorsement and is working on a social curriculum for students with exceptionalities.