March 6, 2017
March 6, 2017
- Good morning.
- Professional Day on Friday with no school for our kids and no Town Hall this week.
- School Advisory Board meeting on Tuesday at 7:0pm.
- Diocesan Principal’s meeting on Thursday all day.
- Here’s an excellent piece entitled “A Systemic Approach to Elevating Teacher Leadership” by Joellen Killion, Cindy Harrison, Amy Colton, Chris Bryan, Ann Delehant, and Debbie Cooke in Learning Forward, November 2016. I’ll provide this piece in segments as there are 10 key to effective teacher leadership: “The work of a teacher leader is often undefined, unsupported, and sometimes unrecognized and undervalued, thus limiting the potential for positive impact,” say Joellen Killion and five colleagues in this Learning Forward white paper. The authors believe teacher leadership is more than the usual outside-the-classroom roles taken on by teachers – committee member, team leader, curriculum writer, department chair, association leader. These and other roles are important, but they are often narrowly defined, inflexible, and structured to carry out the expectations and desires of higher-ups. Teachers may conclude that to have true leadership power, they need to leave the classroom and become administrators.
Killion and her colleagues make the case for a more-ambitious definition of teacher leadership that has real impact on teaching and learning without leaving the classroom. Because teachers are in daily contact with students, the authors argue, they “are in the best position to make critical decisions about issues related to teaching and learning. Moreover, they are better able to implement changes in a comprehensive and continuous manner. Expanding teacher roles also serves an ongoing need to attract and retain qualified teachers for career-long, rather than temporary, service… It is a transformation of the way educators work within schools every day to strengthen culture and professional practices and enhance professional learning opportunities leading to student success.”
Killion et al. list the prerequisites for successful teacher leadership: (a) a clear definition of purpose, roles, and responsibilities; (b) supportive conditions, including relational trust, collective responsibility, commitment to continuous improvement, recognition and celebrations, and a degree of autonomy; (c) the right dispositions, including a deep commitment to student learning, open-mindedness and humility, courage and a willingness to take risks, confidence, flexibility, and decisiveness, and a passion for ongoing learning; and (d) continuous assessment of impact. Tomorrow I’ll present the 10 keys.
- Thanks for a raised bar and solid start to our 3rd Trimester and keep flying. God Bless you.