Too often, “teacher leadership” roles intended to attract and retain teachers—especially great ones—and close student learning gaps fail to produce the intended impact. This two-page brief offers a quick list of the common pitfalls of designing such roles, and a chart of the 12 essential factors for creating high-quality, lasting teacher-leader roles. Defining and organizing high-impact teacher-leader roles can allow great teachers to have a far greater effect on vastly more students and teaching peers.
Professional Development for Educators
This set of slide decks for 19 training sessions for new multi-classroom leaders, with accompanying handouts, is based on input from the first Opportunity Culture multi-classroom leaders about the information and training they needed to be successful in leading their teams.
Despite decades of efforts to support teachers with coaching, most teachers still do not get the support they need in their own classrooms. Yet most teachers, including experienced ones, need support to continue to evolve professionally, hone their practice, and use new tools. This support is most powerful when offered routinely and on the job by skilled professionals. In Coaching for Impact: Six Pillars to Create Coaching Roles That Achieve Their Potential to Improve Teaching and Learning, from Public Impact, Learning Forward, and the University of Florida Lastinger Center, the authors use the research on coaching and their forward-looking analysis to call on the nation’s education leaders to expand their commitment to high-quality coaching for all teachers. The report outlines six pillars essential to creating meaningful coaching roles along with recommendations for those responsible for creating and supporting results-oriented coaching programs.
What makes great professional learning? Research indicates that the best professional learning occurs on the job, when teachers learn from experience and frequent feedback about their strengths and how to improve. A major benefit of Opportunity Culture models is how they provide teachers with ample time during the school day to co-plan, co-teach, and co-learn. Schools can schedule subject or grade-level teaching teams to be available at the same times. Both multi-classroom leaders and great teachers using elementary specialization and Time Swaps can mentor and lead peers during school-hour planning time. Team-teaching roles explicitly include learning on the job in a team committed to excellence for all students. In these materials, we provide a simple framework of the elements of effective on-the-job professional learning from teacher-leaders in an Opportunity Culture, for which we also drew on materials and research from non-Opportunity Culture schools. [Read more…]
This brief estimates the impact of a statewide implementation of Opportunity Culture models, using North Carolina as an example. Impacts estimated include student learning outcomes, gross state product, teacher pay, and other career characteristics, and state income tax revenue. Estimates indicate the potential for a statewide transition to Opportunity Culture models to provide a brighter future for students, teachers, and the state’s economy.
This research synthesis, Designing Effective Professional Development Experiences: What Do We Know?, was written for the John Edward Porter Professional Development Center at the North Central Regional Educational Laboratory as a resource for schools and districts to help them design more effective professional development experiences for teachers. Examining the research base to date, this synthesis identifies certain characteristics of professional development activities that influence whether or not participants achieve their stated goals.
Written by Emily Ayscue Hassel, and published by North Central Regional Education Laboratory in 1999, this toolkit takes the best practices of award-winning schools and organizes them into a step-by-step planner for designing and implementing professional development.