What We're Learning

Demonstrating Mastery While Measuring Impact on Student Learning? It's Possible!

When I was teaching high school, we had an open culture of adults popping into classrooms -- for evaluations, certainly, but also to hang out and observe what was going on, to interact with students about their learning, to "get a pulse" on the kind of teaching and learning that was happening. But I cannot remember a single time when a colleague visited my classroom to help me solve a problem of practice I was working on.

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Research on Teacher Leadership

Over the last three years, Schools That Lead has worked with educators across the state of Delaware, focusing our efforts on what we call "advancing powerful student learning." We do that by honoring the desire of teachers to learn from one another about what they care about most: their students' needs. Key to this work is engaging classroom teachers to study and reflect on self-identified areas of interest about the students in their own classrooms.

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The Power of Micro-credentials

The past two years have been an unexpected, but incredible journey for me. The word data used to be a word I hated...Two years ago, I thought I was doing exactly what I needed to do to grow as a teacher because, clearly, I was doing exactly what I was required to do. Two years ago, I had no idea just how much I really had to learn.

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Recommendations for Noncognitive Development in K-12 Schools in Delaware

We are pleased to offer the thinking of our small yet committed study group as a set of recommendations for Delaware K-12 education policymakers and practitioners. Meeting, studying and in many cases working classroom and school wide strategies for the development of students’ noncognitive skills, we have developed our understanding and practice and believe our recommendations are a starting place for others to engage and to build upon.

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Using Student Surveys to Make Real Classroom Changes

The Panorama Student Survey gave me helpful insights into my students’ feelings, perceptions, and beliefs about my class and our school in general. I administered the survey to my classes in the fall, and I felt a range of emotions as I analyzed the results. I was pleasantly surprised, reaffirmed in my beliefs, and bothered by some of the responses my students gave to the survey questions. I used the results to make specific changes based on my students’ answers.

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What Are You Waiting For?

Now, half way through the two year program, I look back at what I’ve accomplished thus far and it is such a great feeling to see all of the hard work paying off exponentially despite what is being thrown at me.

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Reflecting On My First Year In the Teacher Leadership Initiative (TLI)

"Using Student Learning Questions with my peers on my team has enabled us to gather data on our students, to reflect more so on the students' learning rather than their behavior, and has allowed us to share techniques/strategies with each other that have been successful in our classrooms."

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Evaluating Student Work: A Different Perspective

During our last session, we used a set of protocols to evaluate student work. It was a valuable activity that, in that moment, served its purpose. However, it left a few wondering the same thing we often do after even the most engaging professional development sessions-"how can I rationalize the implementation of this back at school?"

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Why We Need Teacher Collaboration in Delaware

Delaware is famously known for the five C’s: car manufacturing, chickens, chemicals, the Chancery Court, and credit cards. Six C’s if you include Punkin Chunkin. But in the future, I hope Delaware will be known for another “C,” collaboration.

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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.

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“Professional Development…as opposed to Amateur Inertia?”

“Professional Development…as opposed to Amateur Inertia?” – Dana Diesel Wallace, Ed.D. According to Dr. Wallace, the term Professional Development (PD if you’re in the profession) is an old construct and she holds the belief (now shared by this educator) that, moving forward, we should begin addressing it as “adult education."

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“Rule 1 for Scaling Up: Honor Those Closest to the Work"

…many organizations have made the mistake of thinking of knowledge as a set of assets to be managed. This view leads to an over reliance on tools like repositories and lessons learned databases. The theory being that if we can get everything codified and ordered, then the knowledge will travel.

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