Sunday, November 16, 2014

Leading Change

Why are we changing?  Why should we?  

 Because it is the best thing for the students.

  • Too many of our students are entering college and can not get into entry level (Freshman English and Math) classes.  They have to spend money to take mandatory "No College Credit" classes. Non-college bound students need to be able to write, critically think, and problem solve.


  • We should not throw out all of the good things that we have done for the last 15 years.

  • We should not make drastic, upper-management decisions without teacher input.

  • We must embrace all of the good things that teachers have done and fight to keep it.

  • Use the "new test" to guide and motivate our change.  If we are making a change just in order to address a new test, then it is not worth our time and effort.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Who should be a leader through this change?

It is an unfortunate fact that most school administrators move on to other schools or positions, and they are not in one place for too long.   


That is why it is important to find teachers (both young and veteran alike) to take roles as school leaders.  Empower the people who will be there for more than a few years.  They will lead the change.

Friday, November 14, 2014

How Should Educational Leadership Work

Educational Matters Website says that Educational leadership is "like a hand pressed firmly on the back of the person in front of them."


But I disagree!


As a teacher leader, it should be more like having an arm around someone's shoulders, going forward into something unknown, but not dangerous.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Factors Hindering Positive Change at Schools

  1. Inefficient Leadership

  2. Inefficient Leadership Strategies

  3. Unclear Processes and Policies

  4. Ineffective Communication

  5. Lack of Involvement of All Parties

  6. Resistance to Change by Teachers

  7. Lack of Resources

  8. Lack of Time

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

"A Theory of Change" by Mark Luffman

Student achievement will not improve unless and until teaching improves.


Teachers can't improve by working alone with little or no feedback on their instruction.


There should be a shared vision of what good teaching is...


     1) Rigor

     2) Student Engagement

     3) Effective methods of personalizing teaching


All adult meetings are about instruction and are models of good teaching!


Supervision/Evaluations are frequent, rigorous and focused on improving instruction.  It is done by people who know what good teaching looks like.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Leading Change from the Classroom (Victoria Bord-Dimock)

Teacher leadership should not accompany the desire to get out of teaching and into administration.


Teacher leadership is important because we are in daily contact with the learners and are in the best position to make decisions about curriculum and instruction.


Teacher leadership is not one of "higher" or "superior" position, but one of "bonding together" in a collaborative unit to promote personal growth.


Leadership Roles for Teachers:

     Research colleagues

     Advisors or mentors to new teachers

     Professional Development Facilitators


What Teacher Leaders Do...

1.  Build trust and support

2.  Diagnose organizational conditions 

3.  Deal with processes

4.  Manage the work

5.  Build skills and confidence in others

6.  Non-judgmental assistance   and support

7.  Model colegiality

8.  Enhance teacher self-esteem

9.  Use different approaches

10. Make provisions for support and learning for other teachers.







Sunday, November 9, 2014

Suggestions to Help Create Effective Teacher Leadership

1.  Structure:  Unclear responsibilities lead to frustration and tension.  Everything should be clearly defined:  roles, rules, expectations and timelines.  These should be in place before a teacher accepts a leadership role.


2.  Time:  Dual roles of teacher and leader sometimes can compromise both roles.  A teacher/leader needs time to reflect, think, experiment and create, revise and redo.  They need time to talk to colleagues, develop materials and build relationships.


The end of the teaching day is best for this.  Let a teacher do their main job and concentrate on it uninterrupted.  Let them teach periods 1-5.  Then, at the end of the day allow them to take on the leadership role.  That way, they finish one thing for the day and put full concentration and effort into the next role.