Friday, January 29, 2016

ECET2 and TLI Intersect: School Redesign Challenge

As part of the Teachers Leadership Initiative supported by NEA, NBPTC, MTA, CTQ, I am a member of the school redesign cohort. Though we've just started this group, I can tell you that it is a dynamic group of educational thinkers and practitioners. The first online meeting and assignments have my head spinning with ideas and challenges.

First, the cohort was introduced to videos below that discussed the history of school design and structure as well as thoughts for redesign.

Then we were asked to think about what school redesign means to you, and how you hope to make that happen in ways that significantly impact a child's experience of school.

Fortunately, the school system I work in has embraced many ideas and practices which are positively moving us in a direction of better and more targeted, dynamic service to children. The inclusion of Professional Learning Communities (PLC), ELA/Math Response to Intervention (RTI), shared teaching models, substantial technology resources, STEAM centers and projects, social competency goals and revitalized curricula, and more modern professional learning constructs such as our recent unconference are moving us in that direction.

I hope that we'll continue this path with greater attention to teacher voice and choice, differentiated learning spaces and furniture, greater freedom with regard to technology use and inclusion, more varied group structures, thoughtful attention to time, greater attention to purchasing patterns and protocols, and deeper interest and facilitation of field study experiences and relationships with outside education-related organizations.

Specifically with regard to my practice, I am centered on working with my grade-level colleagues to continue to develop and grow our shared teaching model with student engagement, learning, and overall success and happiness as the primary focus. Today as I engage with teachers from all over the country, we will consider the Gates Education Foundation research with regard to teacher leadership and developing optimal teaching/learning communities. The two charts below from Teacher2Teacher will serve as a focal point in the work we do. Teachers are welcome to join the Teacher2Teacher community via this link.