Welcome to our blog!

The Fund for Transforming Education in Kentucky (The Fund) inspires and scales innovation and excellence in Kentucky’s public schools, resulting in a better future for all of our children. Here on our blog, we share about our work in a more in depth manner. Blog posts are written by staff members, teachers we work with, board members and others.

The Fund believes in unlocking the unique potential of every student by spreading innovative ideas, shining a spotlight on transforming teacher leadership, and driving sustainable change that will increase academic achievement for all students in Kentucky’s public education system.

Thank you for your consideration and visiting our blog. If you share in our vision of an innovative education culture, we welcome the opportunity to partner with you. Please visit our website at www.thefundky.org for more information.

Barbara Bellissimo

Friday, January 23, 2015

Why We Support Teacher Leadership

By: Renee Boss, NBCT

Last year at the National Teaching and Learning Conference in Washington, D.C., I heard Secretary of Education Arne Duncan commit the nation to an intense focus on teacher leadership. Incidentally, The Fund for Transforming Education in Kentucky has included Teacher Engagement as a key initiative since our inception in the spring of 2013. Kentucky continues to lead the way in work around teacher leadership as evidenced in conversations and in Twitter exchanges among the nation's teachers.  Clearly then, we found it fitting to attend and support the first Teach to Lead Summit sponsored by the the U.S. Department of Education and the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards in Louisville this past December.

As a supporting organization, we committed to

  • facilitate conversations
  • support the Summits (Louisville and Denver) via social media
  • attend and serve as critical friends as ideas were presented in Louisville
  • encourage teachers to attend and share their ideas
  • provide ongoing support to teacher leaders in Kentucky
  • host events for teachers 
  • convene partner organizations for continued collaboration about how to best support teachers
  • elevate the voice of teachers in Kentucky
Following the Louisville Summit, we asked Kentucky teachers for their biggest take-aways and thoughts on how the TTL Summit might advance our work around teacher leadership in the state. Here's what they had to say...

"The shear number of teacher leaders and the variety of ideas was inspiring! Teacher leadership must guide the education reform for the good of our students."                                 ~Pennye Rogers, NBCT

"A 'big takeaway' from the event was that it struck me how important it is for our work to be acknowledged and respected by national leaders. It made me feel empowered and professional knowing that policy makers believed in my work and that I had something of value to say. I believe conferences like these will advance the work of teacher leaders by elevating the profession and inspiring them to continue doing their difficult work. It helps to know we're not alone out there."                   ~Sarah Yost, NBCT

"In addition to receiving input with our ideas, we were able to hear from other educators from across the nation in regard to problems they are working to resolve, and give them feedback as well." ~Lisa Garner, NBCT

 "I am excited about what our district is doing to promote collaboration and leadership opportunities. Teachers love learning. Being given the opportunity to learn from each other is true gift."     ~Hope Eans

Common Assignment Study (CAS) teachers also participated in the summit as they shared their ideas around how we should continue the work when our research study ends. Their ideas require districts and schools to re-think teacher time and master schedules. At The Fund, we strongly encourage innovative re-designs such as these to better the learning experiences for students and increase the effectiveness of teachers who are committed to teaching Kentucky's students. CAS teacher, Eddie Mullins, sent me a message following the Louisville Summit saying he was encouraged and inspired by the experience. Even better was this part of his message

"I love the thought of growing as a leader WITHOUT having to leave my classroom"      ~Eddie Mullins
When you consider what the quotes from the teacher leaders in this post have in common (along with all the other teachers we continually hear from), you will notice the emphasis on learning and on students. Teachers want opportunities to lead, to learn, and to continue impacting the lives and learning of students. Undoubtedly, this is what we at The Fund want as well, so we will continue to support teachers as leaders and we will celebrate and elevate their voices for the good of all Kentucky's students.

No comments:

Post a Comment