Theme of the month

Theme of the Month

Join us each month as we focus on a topic of interest to STEM Teacher Leaders with an expert webinar panel, open
discussion, resources and blog post. 

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Theme of the Month Discussion: How Teachers Measure Their Impact as Leaders

In this facilitated discussion starting February 4th, we will discuss strategies for assessing your impact as STEM teacher leaders.


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Given the range of activities that teacher leadership encompasses, one can get easily overwhelmed thinking about how her/their/his personal journey of leadership fits in with the larger network of teacher leaders. I've found a few resources to be helpful in providing a sense of orientation for my work:

NNSTOY's Teacher Leadership Model Standards (and self-assessment tools)

NEAs teacher leadership competencies

AAPTs Framework for Physics Teacher Leadership (starts on p16)

These resources help give a sense of both what teacher leaders do and how teacher leaders can further develop their skill sets and impact.  

Tue, 02/04/2020 - 3:21 PM Permalink
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I am certain that your presence in this forum and/or attendance at the webinar indicates that you are already a teacher leader, regardless of whether you identify with that concept. News flash: You ARE a teacher leader!

So, how do you grow your leadership impact from where you are toward where you would like to be? Well, measuring then communicating the impact of your team's work is a good start. Please notice that I said 'your team's work' and not 'your work.' 

We would love for you to share the following with us so that we can find and develop your story of impact together.

Think about a time when you connected with colleagues (in your building or beyond) to address a need. What was the need? What did your team do about that need? What did you try? How did it go? What worked? What didn't? And how do you know? 

Then if you shared the work with colleagues - What did they do? How did their practice change? What impact did it have on their students? And, how do you know?

In short, That is your story of impact. 

We look forward to reading about everyone's stories of impact here.

Tue, 02/04/2020 - 3:49 PM Permalink
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In reply to by Lori Nazareno

When I was a new teacher, I had two partner teachers who took me under their wing and helped me through the year.  At the end of the year, I asked how I could ever thank them for all their help.  They both told me that one day, I needed to to do same thing for another teacher.  I have taken that to heart and tried very hard to be a support to other teachers throughout my career.  This has ranged from creating and leading grade level groups, being a host teacher for student teachers, to being a mentor for new teachers.  But when I look at STEM specficially, it was my desire to learn more that led me to leadership.  There was a Summer science Academy where they were training teachers for the content knowlede we would need to teach our new science kits.  I thought I was just going to learn more and ended up that we were being trained to be trainers. I really enjoyed it and my passion for science and helping others increased. Since then, I have created and conducted mulitple trainings to help teachers be more effective in teaching science.

Thu, 02/13/2020 - 10:06 PM Permalink

I would agree with what you said.  I too, wanted to learn more so I went to workshops, summer institutes, etc.  I learned so much more than what just happened specifically at the event. Those informal conversations and personal observations of teacher leaders.  Hearing their journeys...many connections with like minded educators. All very inspiring.  I too would agree with the desire to pay it forward.

Sun, 02/16/2020 - 9:00 AM Permalink
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I thought this past eve's discussion was riveting. I am hopeful about the future of teacher leadership -- in large measure  because of the growing pressure on schools to rethink its long-standing organizational structures in order to address structural inequalities in our current system of teaching and learning as well as demands of the global economy and new (many STEM-related) careers for which young people need to prepare. Top down, hierarchal school orgs cannot do what they need to do. We know more about cultivating teacher leadership than ever before and new tools and tech and de-isolate those who teach....As Jeff mentioned as you "meet more people" teachers can validate and document their impact.....

here is a piece from last year's Kappan Teacher leadership: Prospects and promises that surfaces a few more facts, figures, and more...


Tue, 02/04/2020 - 9:53 PM Permalink
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I am wondering how the role of teachers as leaders are beginning to shift in schools like the Dearborn STEM 6-12 Early College Academy today. Are how they need to shift to take full advantage of the opportunities with a school that has  flexible indoor and outdoor learning classrooms, two fabrication labs, and laser die cutters as toolsas well as a dance studio....

By one account advanced manufacturing will account for all new jobs by 2030...schools need to look different especially in the field of STEM and the people in them need to be organized differently, Teaching has become too compli­cated for one teacher to do it all.[i]The work of schooling demands a larger array of experts, specialists, and generalists — from schools, industry, and communities — working as a team from different disciplines as well as agencies and organizations.  Teacher leadership in STEM is essential - and the system of teaching needs to look and feel differently in order to build more demand for teachers who lead withour leaving the classroom. I am thinking perhaps we document how teachers already are leading and how a different organizational structure can accelerate more effective leadership from the classroom. 



[i]Santoro, D. (2018). Demoralized: Why Teachers Leave the Profession They Love and How They Can Stay. Cambridge: Harvard Education Press. 


Sun, 02/09/2020 - 10:41 AM Permalink


   I was struck by your reference to some projection that by 2030 "avanced manufacturing will account for all new jobs."    I am curious whose projection that is?  When I read this, I went to the Bureau of Labor Stats to see their projections for jobs and educational requirements between now and 2028 (  Either there's a nuance in your source, or the years 2028-2030 are going to be VERY exciting :)


Mon, 02/10/2020 - 11:04 AM Permalink

I think the biggest detriment to STEM education in my district is the mandatory language arts and math block scheduling. After all our specials, lunch and recess we have "30 minutes" a day for Science, Social studies, SEL and technolgy.  And it really isn't 30 minutes, because it might be two 15 min. sections sometimes between lunch and and somewhere else.  No one can do effective STEM teaching that way.  I fight back as much as we can, and don't follow all the rules but I don't know how we can swing the tide back to understanding how vitally important stem education is.  I would love to hear what other teachers do to rally support.  Or what they do to ensure students are getting a quality STEM education desipte the blocks.



Thu, 02/13/2020 - 10:27 PM Permalink
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On the webinar we discussed the concept of teachers owning, authoring and sharing their stories..... What are some ways you share what's happening inside your classroom with the rest of the world?

In the link I shared a simple way you can do that through hall pictures.... let me know your ideas

Mon, 02/10/2020 - 1:18 PM Permalink
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I was asked what other inspirations I may have had as a youth.  My parents - PTO President, Jaycees leaders, surgical head nurse.  Me - Girl Scouts and 4H officer as well as team captain in BB. I would like to ask others what leadership inspirations in their youth may have impacted their journeys.

Sun, 02/16/2020 - 9:09 AM Permalink
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