As a member of the NJ Teacher Advisory Panel, I wondered what it would be like to try to develop a group of teacher leaders to influence change in my district. Step 1 was the ability to start the conversation with my superintendent, who really came up with the idea simultaneously with me.
Step 2 was designing it: It would have to come from the teacher (aka me). And what would we seek to accomplish?!
The number one goal of a teacher advisory panel (and I like the name teacher leaders community better; it sounds more collaborative and equitable) may be to develop leadership capacity for the sake of teachers solving their own, and each others', problems, for the sake of the students.
Teachers may show up to a meeting of a group like this thinking they are going to take over. I am glad I have turned this idea around. Teachers are now confident in development their voices...We have been practicing problems solving approaches such as those I have learned at ECET2.
If you have any experience in these kinds of panels, I would love to talk about them, or try your ideas in my group. No district would be complete without relying on the expertise and experiences of its faculty!!!
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