Blogs on Teacher Leadership

Teacher Leadership

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Get support and guidance from change makers who are organizing and implementing real improvements to our educational system.

Terry HeickNovember 19, 2012

The long-term output of any school should be not just proficient students, but enabled learners. An "enabled" learner can grasp macro views, uncover micro details, ask questions, plan for new knowledge and transfer thinking across divergent circumstances. This doesn't happen by content "knowledge holding," or even by the fire of enthusiasm, but by setting a tone for learning that suggests possibility, and by creating a culture of can.

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José VilsonNovember 7, 2012

When I began my tenure as math coach for my middle school, I came into the position thinking I could bring something fresh to this idea of support. Four years in, I'm learning that every instructional coach forms a set of relationships and dynamics with colleagues in his or her respective department. Every teacher leader struggles between winning everyone over and positioning him- or herself as a true liaison for administrators and teachers.

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Dr. Brian J. DixonOctober 31, 2012

Social media tools, including Google Tools, Twitter and Facebook, are a dynamic means of locating, applying for, and tracking grant funding. This article outlines specific methods your school can follow to grow its funding base. You can use social media tools to locate, manage, update, track, announce and implement grant funding. Acquiring funding is a relational process. You are communicating your school's story and making connections with grantors who share your values. Leverage your social media tools to improve your chances of engaging these donors.

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Mark PhillipsOctober 29, 2012

It was the day before my first parent back to school night as a new teacher. My department chair, a superb mentor, took me aside and said, "You're going to get advice from other teachers to give parents as little time to ask questions as possible. Ignore that advice. Give them time; be responsive. They are potentially your best allies." Not only did I follow his advice, but I also embraced the whole idea of developing close positive relationships with parents. Some of my fondest memories as a teacher are of these relationships.

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Steve J. MooreOctober 20, 2012

Writing Alongside Students

The term “workshop model” is one used in my school district at the moment to denote a classroom where something innovative is being piloted. My neighbor’s classroom is a place where new ideas are being shaped and tinkered with each day; I like the idea that there are little pedagogical laboratories being run all around me.

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Elena AguilarOctober 11, 2012

In early October, I reviewed Paul Tough's new book, How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character. I saw implications for policy, funding, and teacher preparation, as well as lots of actions that administrators and teachers could take based on Tough's research. Here are some ideas.

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Tanya KnightOctober 3, 2012

The one major factor that prevents millions of deserving students from going to college is absence of financial resources. Tragically this is often due to lack of awareness about how and where to get them. Fortunately the financial aid process is not hard if you have the information you need.

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Todd FinleySeptember 27, 2012

In The Checklist Manifesto, Atul Gawande writes about the importance of list making as a process of working through critical decisions, and list reviewing as a critical element to support aspirations. Marc Andreeson, a checklist user, attained extraordinary success by inventing the web browser. Later he joined the board of eBay and Facebook and co-founded Ning. Andreeson's secret: before going to sleep, he writes down three to five things he plans to accomplish the next day on an index card. " . . . I try like hell to get just those things done. If I do, it was a successful day." When he completes other tasks, he uses the back of the card (which he calls his "anti-to-do list") to record what he has finished. At the end of the day, he tears up the card -- mission accomplished -- and reaches for another.

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Lisa Michelle DabbsSeptember 25, 2012

A few weeks ago I was listening to one of my favorite classical radio stations and heard the DJ mention that a famous pianist likes to say he is a "painter at the piano." I thought it was a great metaphor to describe the way many artists and professionals feel about the tools of their work. For example, a carpenter could be a painter with a hammer, a potter could be a painter with a wheel . . . I could go on and on.

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Ben JohnsonSeptember 21, 2012

Rarely will a new principal leave things at a school just as they are. Sometimes those changes do need to happen, but the teacher perspective might be the principal is coming in and trying to fix things that aren't broken. Instead of saying, "Throw the bum out!" I have some suggestions to help teachers get off on the right foot with a new principal. (As a principal new to a campus and recently experiencing this.)

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