Beyond My Wildest Dreams

The Teacher Leadership Initiative has empowered me with knowledge beyond my wildest dreams to be able to facilitate powerful student learning within my classroom. The 2014-15 cohort, of which I am proudly a part, is an amazing group of individuals with one goal in mind, that of enriching the lives of each and every one of their students. The cohort ranges from kindergarten to high school, consists of classroom teachers, specialists, and those aspiring to become future teacher leaders and administrators. To participate in the midst of such a wealth of information both humbles and inspires me to grow as a teacher leader!

I am learning to observe my peers in order to provide them with non-judgmental feedback that they request in order to promote powerful student learning within their own classrooms. Teachers focus on an area that they would like to receive feedback in, which will in turn enable them to take their instruction to a higher level, or to validate that they are indeed on track and achieving their desired instructional outcomes. Peers come in to observe only that area of concern and then provide the teacher with unbiased feedback in the form of data that the recipient can then view and upon reflection utilize as they wish. This is a completely new perspective on and process for getting and giving feedback that I, just like the members of my cohort, am actually excited about having peers observe my classroom. It’s not in any way threatening, certainly not a waste of time, and results in getting actionable data from which we can make instructional decisions to promote student learning. What a great change!

Lori A. Smith, MT
3rd Grade Teacher
Allen Frear Elementary School