Are Teachers Unsung Heroes? Who Is Listening?

In the medical world, we have been giving a tremendous amount of praise and recognition to the doctors and nurses who have been combating the coronavirus. We are providing them with pandemic protection equipment, we are developing safety protocols, and we are paying them more to come into areas where additional help is needed.

Can we truly say we are doing the same for teachers and school staff or are we demanding they return to a work environment that will compromise their health? What are the challenges associated with going back to school? Here’s what teachers are asking about:

Many teachers are challenged with metabolic diseases, such as diabetes and obesity; respiratory diseases, such as asthma; cardiovascular diseases, such as mild heart failure; and autoimmune diseases, such as multiple sclerosis. As well, some teachers are immunocompromised patients recovering from cancer treatment or organ transplants. Do these teachers get more robust protection equipment and special assignments to reduce their risk?

So, when we go into this new world of learning, we will still be in the fog as leadership is clearly lacking when it comes to providing direction that responds to these concerns, and decision makers have different vested interests. Moreover, we have compounded the medical crisis with a social enlightening, drawing attention to mutual equity and equal education.

Our teachers have always been heroes but in most cases have gone unrecognized.

This crisis has focused a spotlight on the education system and the value of the teacher versus the institution. And guess what? The spotlight is only going to get brighter as we move into a whole new dimension of learning and unmask the travesties of our existing school systems. And this is not the time to add additional technology to fix the crisis but rather to look at what schools are trying to deliver by way of learning and realizing that their technology is not suited for the crisis and the future.

Is it reasonable to consider online-only instruction for most students?

As COVID-19 cases continue to climb in 32 states, health experts predict that schools will not truly be able to return to some semblance of normal until May or June of 2021. Knowing that, we can begin now to address the challenges of maintaining a distance-learning environment. While there were a number of hiccups in getting started with distance learning last spring, most teachers were able to overcome the challenges – as were most students. With better support to infrastructure, addressing the inequity of Wi-Fi and device access, many students can continue with distance learning. By facilitating distance learning for as many students as possible, those who really cannot remain home, whether because of financial reasons or because of special needs that require in-person therapy and guidance, can have enough space within the school facilities to be accommodated.

Lumen Touch Is Here for You – Start with our No-Cost Audit

We don’t have all the answers, but we continuously monitor the learning space and add more capability to our platform, such as integrated video and computer-based interactivity, and Covid-19 monitoring and tracking with parent, teacher, and student portals to keep everyone informed every moment of their day.

We also have a seasoned audit team that will help you find means to pay for extra costs when your budgets are being cut. This audit is at NO COST to you and has saved some districts hundreds of thousands of dollars. Get in touch to learn more.

Supporting Students and Teachers through Challenging Times

Look at any teacher’s social media posts and you’ll encounter an emotional journey:

  • Sadness from having to temporarily say goodbye to students
  • Frustration over having to quickly adapt lessons to an online environment
  • Fear for the safety and health of their students and colleagues
  • Desperation to get technology to function properly
  • Melancholy at the realization that students may not be returning to the classroom this year

Not every school district has cancelled classes for the year; some are reassessing every two weeks, but the likelihood of most students finishing the school year from home is high. But as Dr. Brad Johnson recently tweeted, “Schools, remember this is not the new normal. This is just surviving a crisis. You don’t build a new home in a storm, you weather the storm and then regroup once it’s over.”

When the Going Gets Tough, We’re Stronger Together

As difficult as this has been for educators and students alike, we’ve been heartened at seeing the incredible strength demonstrated by members of our education community as they come together and support each other. From sharing lesson ideas and supporting each other online to making sure school children are still fed a nutritious breakfast and lunch to sharing moments of humor to help us all get through, the education community has never been more committed to each other and to their students and parents. We’re hearing stories about school districts handing out laptops and hotspots to ensure every student has access to online learning, EdTech companies offering their services for free, and so many resources being provided to help families and schools cope.

Surviving the Stay-at-Home Order

Whether you’re a parent learning core curriculum for the first time so you can help your child with their studies or you’re a teacher who is repurposing assignments to adapt them for distance learning, you are not in this alone. We’ve rounded up some great resources to help.

Screen time. Parents, relax. As with everything, moderation is key, but according to a review of the research,  the evidence linking screens to harm is, in reality, paper thin.

Adapting lessons. This guide can help teachers stay engaged with students and adjust lessons.

More resources. WeAreTeachers has put together an exhaustive list of resources for teachers and students.

Lumen Touch Is Here to Support You

The Bright SPED™ system will continue to support communication among staff and student teams, as well as the development of progress reports, IEP forms, and associated documentation. Bright SPED is a multi-user system, allowing your team to work together on an individual record at the same time. We are also adding a parent portal.

Bright Student™ has the same capabilities when used remotely as it does in the school.  This empowers the school staff, students, and parents, providing them with the ability to interact with each other in a new learning environment that accommodates this emergency situation and perhaps creates a confidence that respects a different model for our future.

We are holding a variety of webinars to help. You can schedule here.

We will get through this. We are stronger together. Stay home, stay safe, and let us know how we can be of service to you.

Putting Teachers on the Bright Path to Success

In any industry, employee retention is both a challenge and a necessity. When we’re talking about the professionals who mold the minds of the future doctors, lawyers, and leaders of this country, retention becomes a mandate. And as with every industry, one way to improve teacher retention is to give them the tools they need – to teach more effectively, to be more impactful with special populations, and to grow professionally. Bright Path™ by Lumen Touch is a professional development program specifically designed for personalized teacher professional development.

What Is Bright Path?

Bright Path connects educators to dynamic learning opportunities with highly effective learning programs that help streamline professional development. By offering customizable courses and units of study to fit the learning needs of leaders, teachers, and support staff, professional development has never been so easy. As educator professional training and advancement through micro-credentialing gains momentum, Bright Path provides the sophisticated solution school administrators need to improve retention rates. Bright Path provides:

  • Just-in-time learning, anywhere, anytime
  • Proven best practices for instructors
  • One-stop shop for all members of the education community
  • Easily monitor learning progress of content
  • Streamline all professional development
  • Résumé builder, providing micro-credentialing through Master Teacher
  • Free, innovative global content

Teacher Retention and Attraction

Offering professional development opportunities not only helps you retain the teachers you hire but it also can be used to attract higher quality teachers to your district. Teaching is a difficult job, and most people who go into the profession do so because of their passion for education. Providing professional development opportunities makes teachers feel valued and supported in their desired vocation.

Improved Outcomes for Students

Teaching is not a static profession. There are always new things to learn, both in the subject matter being taught and in educational approaches. Providing professional development to teachers that deepens their subject knowledge and empowers them with the tools they need to better engage and instruct students has a measurable impact on student achievement.

The Benefits of Teacher Professional Development

When school leaders invest in teacher professional development, they end up with better teachers who stay longer and are more satisfied with their jobs. This, in turn, translates to a more well-educated student body, increased satisfaction with the school from the entire community, and many other positive outcomes. Bright Path is the place to start to improve teacher professional development opportunities. For more information, email us at sales@lumentouch.com, call us at 816.880.0066, or visit www.lumentouch.com.

Bright SPED: Delivering the Individualized Education that Students Need

Today’s school population is complex and dynamic, especially when trying to facilitate and meet the specialized needs of students on 504s and IEPs. It’s not that the teacher can’t or won’t provide required accommodations; it’s often the process that hinders success: How do you make sure every teacher knows about a student’s accommodations without violating their HIPAA and FERPA rights? Without overtaxing SPED teachers, how do you make it easy for them to deliver the education that students need?

Give Teachers and Aides the Tools They Need

Most schools rely on forms-driven solutions for special education. It’s all about IEP and 504 completion. But a form is not a student. And a form is not a teacher. To make SPED work for the people involved – the students, the teachers, the aides, the parents, and the CSE teams – schools and districts need a solution that lets teachers take the time they spend working on IEPs and use that time instead to work with students.

How Bright SPED™ Transforms Special Education

Bright SPED is designed to address the complexities and changing dynamics of special education planning, development, and reporting. It delivers powerful functionality through a data-driven infrastructure that does not rely on forms processing, providing schools with a comprehensive, timesaving, web-based tool for special education programs. This significant difference is one of the aspects that allows Bright SPED to meet federal and state compliance modifications in a timely way.

What Does Bright SPED™ Mean for Your School?

Bright SPED is designed for the user experience. Teachers who work with students who have individualized needs can view or print IEPs with the click of a button, so there so is never any requirement to dig through a paper file to find out about accommodations or special curriculum goals. It also guides teachers through the entire IEP process, including the time-consuming process of developing annual goals. Bright SPED makes it easier for teachers to build IEPs, communicate with parents and team members, and support students.

  • For teachers, it means less frustration and more time working directly with students. This in turn results in better job satisfaction, less attrition, and more time to collaborate with other teachers.
  • For parents, it means easier communication and the confidence in knowing that their child’s accommodations are disseminated to every teacher and support professional who works with the student.
  • For the student, it means needs can be met more confidentially and more effectively, so that the overall education experience is more positive.
  • For school and district administrators, compliance stops being a headache.

Teachers are taxed beyond their capacity in every way in today’s public schools. They are expected to meet not only a variety of educational mandates and goals but an extraordinary number of compliance-related demands – all while still creating engaging lesson plans, providing emotional support to students, and meeting their own continuing ed licensing requirements. Lumen Touch exists to make it easier for teachers to meet all of those demands without losing the joy in doing what they love: teaching students.


Schools that implement Lumen Touch experience an average savings of 30% to 60%, which is realized from the time of engagement. In addition, Lumen Touch eases the aggravation that may result from negotiating with multiple vendors and removes the need for telecom contracts, carriers, and fees.

If meeting EdTech mandates has overwhelmed your school and district, let Lumen Touch demonstrate how we can free you up to focus on what’s really important: educating students and creating the leaders of the future. Email us at sales@lumentouch.com, call us at 816.880.0066, or visit www.lumentouch.com.