The following is a link to a pilot project I am working on here in rural, Western North Carolina to expand in-classroom, teacher-to-teacher professional development. The over-arching goal of this project (http://1drv.ms/1ugZTlq) is to expand the number of teachers using innovative, student-centered teaching approaches - proven methods that result in positive student outcomes and ultimately better prepare students for... more »
The retention of highly effective teachers and promotion of leadership opportunities for classroom teachers are important aspects of the Career Ladder and strategic plan of the School District of Lee County. The LCSD career ladder incorporates years of experience with professional development training components to determine teacher domains: Apprentice, Career and Accomplished, and additional compensated leadership... more »
As an educator I have found that a properly presented question moves both myself and others. However, formulating effective questions requires training and practice. Engagement in discussion about this foundational skill develops the skills needed to lead. A trained questioner produces a subtle power of service with professional influence. Influencing peers and educational policy through authentic questioning may remain... more »
Service-learning is a strategy that integrates meaningful community service with instruction and reflection to enrich the learning experience, teach civic responsibility, and strengthen communities. This process is further reinforced when service is clearly linked to school curriculum or other educational objectives. Youth Volunteer Corps is the only large-scale youth service organization in the U.S. and Canada that... more »
TEACHERS LEADERS EXECUTIVE BRAIN FUNCTIONS ARE WASTED WITHOUT TIME OR SUPPORT - HIRE AIDES FOR THE MENIAL TASKS!! In my experience, at least in San Francisco, many teachers do not have the time to become teacher leaders because in addition to planning for all subjects, including PE!!, collaborating, researching resources to differentiate in the classroom, and participating in committees, they also have to xerox materials... more »
INTEGRATE DISTRIBUTE LEADERSHIP TRAINING IN ADMINISTRATORS’ CREDENTIAL PROGRAMS. Principals make or break a school. Train principals so they learn how to become true leaders who support and promote the strengths of potential teacher leaders. Make room to change the leadership structure at school; it doesn’t have to be a hierarchical pyramid. PRINCIPALS SHOULD HAVE AT LEAST 5 YEARS OF TEACHING EXPERIENCE. Administrators’... more »
Teacher turnover and burnout is preventable. A recent study concluded that more pedagogical preparation does impact retention positively (Sawchuk 2014). In higher education, the problem doesn't quite manifest as a retention issue, but as an effectiveness issue. When college-level faculty experience burnout their commitment and job satisfaction is stressed, but burnout is mitigated through support and collaboration... more »
OVERSEE AND REINFORCE TEACHERS/PARENTS VOICE IN SCHOOL SITE COUNCILS. Teachers want their voices to be heard in the decision-making process that impacts their practice. This is my 19th year as a teacher. I just finished my 2-year term as an elected chair of my school’s site council. In my experience, most school site councils, at least in San Francisco, are a smoke-screen to make it look like teachers’ and parents’... more »
Teachers have so many frustrations with a variety of aspects of education. Teachers should take more control of their own profession. This requires us to be more knowledgable about policy at federal, state, and district levels and to learn how we can give input on policy and work to influence it. I am doing a fellowship at US ED this year and would love to bring teachers in on a regular basis to see what ED does and... more »
At Boston Collegiate Charter School teachers are given great autonomy in the classroom to design units and lessons that will meet the needs of their students. With the adoption of the 2011 Curriculum Frameworks that incorporate the Common Core State Standards in Massachusetts, our teachers have the unique opportunity and challenge of reexamining their curriculum to ensure that content is meeting the new MA Frameworks... more »
An opportunity for teacher leadership growth exists between pre-service teachers (PSTs) and current teacher leaders (TLs). What I envision is a partnership between a college of education and a local K-12 school. Relationships between these institutions exist for observation and student teaching experiences, but not as frequently for experiences outside the classroom– or at least, not with a focus on teacher leadership.... more »
According to the National Education Association, 46% of all teachers leave teaching within five years. In the 2011-12 Personnel Turnover report compiled by the Colorado Department of Education (CDE), there were 1040 new teachers in the District. While there are myriad reasons for this turnover, this proposed solution focuses only on preparing new teachers, providing structure for existing teachers, and streamlining... more »
According to the Beginning School Study (1982), summer learning loss “accounts for most of the achievement gap between students who live in poverty and those whose families are better off”. As a teacher in a School-Wide Title 1 building with 53% free and reduced lunch students, I began to wonder how we can encourage our students to participate in a summer reading program. Barbara Heyns’s 1978 landmark study found that... more »
As a physics teacher, I spend too many PLC days joining another group because I'm the only physics teacher in the school. A better use of my time, I believe, would be to meet with other physics teachers in an interschool PLC setting.
It seems like a simple idea but we are not doing it in our district. Suggestions from those who have implemented a cross school PLC?
Create an academic coach with lasting impact by appointing teachers who will coach teachers half the day and work as a classroom teacher the other half of the day. With this structure you leverage a master teachers skills and allow them to stay current and refine their craft. In our district and I suspect in others, an academic coach is a teacher pulled from their class room to work full time with other teachers.... more »