#StoriesFromTheClassroom: Introducing our new podcast!
Learn With Colleagues Across Massachusetts In Our New Co-Lab for Innovation
Seven years ago, I became a mom for the first time. It was a huge moment of growth. Each day felt simultaneously exhilarating and exhausting, time both crawled and flew, and I had a million questions about the tiny creature in front of me.
It struck me as similar to the moment I became a teacher, looking around at 23 wide-eyed nine year olds for whom I was responsible. How could I challenge the kids who were reading several grade levels ahead of their peers? How should I handle the student who crawled under her desk every day? How should I plan for Back to School Night effectively? So. Many. Questions.
Turning the Opportunity Myth Into True Opportunity
Here’s the story: We are looking for 8-10 teams of Massachusetts educators to engage in a yearlong cross-district learning opportunity to increase opportunities for students to engage in risk-taking and critical thinking as a regular part of their school experiences. Teams will plan and implement action plans around big questions like, ‘What does complex, engaging, grade-level and beyond work look like?’ ‘How can we support all students to reach this high bar?’ and ‘How do school structures and cultures support educators in their journeys to do this work?’ Co-Labs offer educators the chance to work across different schools and even different districts to learn from each other’s experiences and problem-solve collaboratively on topics of shared interest. Teams will come together for four in-person meetings and three virtual meetings throughout the school year, and each team will receive a $3,000 mini-grant to support their work.
The Teacher Collaborative Takes on The Opportunity Myth
The Opportunity Myth is hardly a light read: It forced us to take a hard look at how many students are not getting what they need and deserve in our classrooms. The teachers who met in February found that the research findings spoke to them in some respects more than others. But together they were driven to make positive changes for their students by reaching outside their own school communities and learning alongside colleagues in other schools, districts, and even sectors. Here’s what they talked about…
Building a Sustainable Structure to Elevate Teacher Voice
At the Teacher Collaborative, we bring together teachers from across the Commonwealth who are passionate about addressing the most complex challenges of their work. That’s why when we read The Opportunity Myth, a report by TNTP exploring how well schools are preparing students to reach their aspirations for themselves, we decided to gather educators to discuss, think, and respond to the findings.
...At the event, Kat and I were proud to release a new guide for district and school leaders called Building a Sustainable Structure to Elevate Teacher Voice. This guide represents our best advice to anyone thinking about how they might include educators' voices in decision-making whether through establishing an advisory, running focus groups, or conducting a survey.