Curriculum is often driven at the district level by department chairs, lead teachers, and curriculum directors. At times the state may provide examples of exemplar teaching units that teachers may use and of course set the standards for teachers and students. But how can teachers best implement their curriculum? What actually works in the classroom? There is a treasure trove of ideas but unfortunately teachers across ...more »
A lead teacher organizes a group of teachers (can be content-based) to collaborate and accomplish an instructional goal, usually data-driven and student-achievement-based. The group identifies their target for improvement, petitions for resources (often this is time to meet together and possibly some PD that matches their focus area) and agrees on the data to collect in order to monitor progress. The data should be connected ...more »
Professional Learning needs to be teacher driven and focused on student achievement. It needs to be accessible 24/7 and have methods for authentic collaboration and sharing of effective instructional practice. On a small scale I've done this with a website containing a wealth of videos called Classrooms in Focus & Coach's Cuts. These videos expose teachers to effective practice with our own students using our own materials ...more »
STEM Education requires that teachers have the capability to develop learning modules that engage and integrate Science, Technology, Engineering, Math and ELA. The current Problem Based Learning (PBL) Regional Summer School program has led to a decrease in discipline referrals and absence and an increase in passing rates and engagement, as shown by action research. However, it has been in place for ten years needs re-development. ...more »
Public schools are always in need of resources due to funding limitations. Massachusetts is a center of higher education institutions. Why can't public schools and Massachusetts higher education institutions work together to enrich the experience of students in our classrooms? Salem State University is now home for the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies. Dr. Christopher Mauriello is the Center's director and ...more »
As a Title One, English Language Learner (ELL) magnet school, we have always been challenged to raise the expectations for our students in an effort to decrease the achievement gap. Our staff accepted the challenge enthusiastically as we implemented a newly aligned English Language Arts curriculum to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) that had been written solely by a team of in-district teachers. The new curriculum ...more »
I don't think educators typically have leadership skills. They need to learn how to think and act strategically when it comes to new ideas, changing practice, and learning together. There is lots of research available in this regard and if teachers learn how to advocate and lead, they not only will impact schools with greater skill, but they will also model these leadership skills for the students they teach.
Principals should support teacher leaders in building partnerships beyond the school. As advisor to my school’s junior chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers, I sought to provide students on our math team with more opportunities to compete. We hosted a one-time math quiz bowl in Philadelphia for teams of students from eight other public high schools. The event catalyzed a partnership with the Philadelphia ...more »
I value the importance of Peer Observations in the world of education. However, typically it is done with someone of alike content, a mentor, etc. It is important to remember the value of learning from any professional. When proposed the task of Observing a peer, suggest someone in a totally different content area. For example, when I did this (I am a Health Sciences teacher), I paired up with a Business Education ...more »
My idea is to create a district online forum (maybe Edmodo as platform) for teachers to collaborate, share ideas, share training videos, resources, etc. This weblog to be used for teachers to log PD hours for re-certification.
My district, like so many others, is changing our entire curriculum pre-K to 6th grade. I am currently set to pilot a new math program along with two teachers from each grade level. A different program is set to be piloted by 6 teachers for each grade level. Little to no training has been scheduled. I will create a virtual platform space where vertical articulation can occur across the grade levels to better assist the ...more »
Our idea is to develop a system designed to grow and support a network of teacher leaders. These leaders/coaches will support and expand the leadership role of teachers through a joint labor management collaboration. The goal is to develop and retain high quality and effective teacher leaders.