Implementing adaptive curricular change, from truly understanding new standards like CCSS or NGSS or a new instructional model like PBL, is a very challenging cognitive task for teachers. At its best, that change should inspire teachers to reconsider their views on successful teaching and learning and also confront their own educational biases. This kind of work can't happen without support, engagement and encouragement from a teacher leader. We need to create hybrid positions for teachers that keep them grounded in their own classroom practice but afford them time to engage their colleagues in a change process. Those leaders need their own training to develop a skill set of consensus building and project management for a larger team of professionals. These positions would have a unique lens on the work; they would understand it as it immediately impacts students because they are practitioners, as well as how to bring their colleagues along with them on that journey. The teachers in this role need to be trusted members of school leadership, able to be intimately involved in creating and running professional learning opportunities and also at the table for building-level decision making that impacts how teachers work. These teachers also need to have a focus on building capacity, as their roles should be term limited and offer rotating leadership opportunities for many interested staff members.
Idea No. 254