Monday we returned, from spring break, to the last quarter of this school year! Usually the first day of a new term is busy with new class schedules, new student ID pictures to take and the excitement that the school year is almost over! What is not so exciting is when the network decides that it doesn’t want to work correctly! After 4 hours of troubleshooting with the tech. dept. and countless times telling teachers that they are working to resolve the issue, I was wiped out when I got home! I had to just keep reminding myself that tomorrow is a new day and with fingers crossed, the network would decide to cooperate.
My unique position as Teacher-Librarian/Technology Integration Teacher allows me the opportunity to interact with most of my staff on a daily basis which helps to develop those critical relationships that are needed for school culture. However, there can be a downside. Staff tends to become more reliant on you, no matter the situation. This can be overwhelming! Reminding myself that I am a critical piece to the wheel is important and for that I am thankful that my staff feels comfortable enough to come to me with issues. i need to remember that I need to take some time for self-care to make it through this last term. Easy enough to say, but sometimes hard to do. It can be as simple as taking a 5 minute walk through the hallway, or doing some deep breathing. Also, just remembering that in the grand scheme of things it could always be worse! Cheers to 43 more days of school!
The #iaedchat last night focused on Teacher-Leaders and their roles in our districts. The discussion was pretty amazing. Some of the questions that were posed:
What does Teacher Leadership look like in your district?
What are the foundational elements that must be in place to sustain teacher leadership
Share an example of how teacher leadership is impacting your district.
If you could change one thing within your teacher leadership system, please explain what it would be and why
We collect all kinds of data to show improvement. Most ties back to our assessment wall that drives decision making
How do the teacher leader and principal roles differ in your school?
What steps can you take tomorrow to increase/improve teacher leadership across your school and district?
The conversations obviously centered on the questions, but what was one resounding theme? Building relationships of trust and communication with other teachers. Just because we are Teacher-Leaders does not mean that we don’t have other teachers serving in a leadership capacity. We need to continue to encouraging those that might not think they are leadership material to grow in their instructional practice.
It is also vital that we as Teacher-Leaders continue to grow in our own instructional practice. By no means are we perfect – I am definitely far from it! We, too, should always continue to seek out good instructional practices that help us to model it for our colleagues.
Being in a leadership role can sometimes be tough. There are lots of skeptics out there that think leadership should only come from administration. Fortunately we are in a profession where leadership skills are valued, especially now that we have the TLC program, and through that program have helped teachers reach their fullest potential in their classrooms. It could be as simple as trying a different strategy with a lesson to as far as “flipping their classroom” using technology and other resources. How do we do that? With this program not being evaluative we take the “perceived threat” away. Lots of colleague to colleague encouragement happens in its place.
Final thoughts? TLC has brought many teachers out of their ruts, that some didn’t even know they were in, and challenged them to become even better in their instructional practices. It has many, many benefits if people give it a chance!