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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Join the Discussion: Technology & Teacher Leadership in the Time of Covid-19

In this facilitated discussion starting April 30th, we will discuss how district administrators, teacher leaders and other school leaders are collaborating to leverage technology in support of remote learning during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Please tell us what is happening in your school district? How are you dealing with getting families hardware and wifi? What challenges are you encountering? What are some of the innovations that help you all get through? We want to hear from you!

Comments

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How has YOUR school or district tapped teacher leaders as a key lever in your Covid-19 response strategy?

Today we heard from school and district leaders-- all of whom have been teachers and teacher leaders themselves-- from Boston and Waltham, Massachusetts.  The webinar recording and chat discussion will be posted soon.  

Reply to tell us what is happening in your locale!

Thu, 04/30/2020 - 5:36 PM Permalink

To support our school district and the wide variety of learning styles, teachers have developed webinars, virtual field trips, blog posts, guides, and even hold office hours. The goal has been to build cohesiveness in the COVID-19 conversation, connecting teacher leaders to learn from each other as they face similar unprecedented challenges. We have learned over the last few weeks that our approaches, practices, and habits around doing work are helping not only our teams but helping students to adjust to this constant state of change. 

Fri, 05/01/2020 - 5:23 PM Permalink

Exciting to hear these examples of actions teacher leaders are taking! 

"Cohesiveness" is an important word, and can't be taken for granted.  When there are many leaders, they can inadvertently work against each other.  What are some of the structural and/or cultural factors that help leaders in your community to be sure they are "leading in sync"? 

And, how have school administrators responded?  It's possible for admins to see "uppity" and spontaneous teacher leaders as a threat! 

 

[I'm responding to David's post here, but inviting all to share thoughts!]

Sat, 05/02/2020 - 8:50 AM Permalink

Our school district has a group of teachers who are designated as technology leaders on their campuses. It is an application process, and they are used as a resource for teachers in addition to instructional specialists and technicians. Their main focus in technology integration with instruction, since we are a 1:1 iPad district. During Covid-19, our district used these teachers to lead webinars on various tech tools to support other teachers in the district. The webinars were recorded live and were available to watch afterwards.

Fri, 05/08/2020 - 10:50 AM Permalink

My school (the Donald McKay K-8 in East Boston) has been tapping into teacher leaders' areas of expertise by forming new teacher teams for COVID challenges.  For example, we have a Family Support Team, which is led by two teachers with close connections to the East Boston Mutual Aid group. Both of these teacher leaders are already involved with family support in the community, so it made sense for them to organize efforts for our students. As the STEM teacher, I've been helping develop technology-focused lessons and resources for staff. I've create weekly check-ins where we can talk about successes and challenges with remote learning. Overall, I think that we've done a nice job creating spaces for teachers to share their knowledge with each other. 

Fri, 05/08/2020 - 2:29 PM Permalink
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Thank you to Jill Harrison Berg, Suzana Somers, Mike Sabin, Mark Racine and Haruna Hasokawa for a fabulous, webinar with honest reflections of both strategies and challenges in serving our students during Covid 19. There was honest dialogue about what was really important in this first stage of figuring out how to do this  - namely health of students and faculty and concerns about equity. The participants spoke to how teachers as well as students needed a great deal of support during this time. It was clear that these priorities, for the moment, needed to take a front seat as opposed to measuring student learning and outcomes. 

Please tell us what is happening in your school district? How are you dealing with getting families hardware and wifi? What challenges are you encountering? What are some of your innovations to help all get through. We want to hear from you!

 

Thu, 04/30/2020 - 10:58 PM Permalink
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In reply to by Joni Falk

Great question - I think this is one of the biggest problems facing districts lately. Some ideas we've looked at which seem promising:

  • Hotspots
  • Opening school parking lots in collaboration with the local police department for drive up wifi
  • Mapping where the biggest areas of need are in our city for internet and looking at the possibility of deploying "wifi" busses there
  • Last, but least effective, is helping parents with the application for reduced cost internet. Families who need internet aren't able to pay for additional costs at this time so we're struggling with this option.
Mon, 05/04/2020 - 2:00 PM Permalink
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Media outlets have done a fantastic job of highlighting the efforts of classroom teachers who are supporting students academically, emotionally, and with resources. What seems to be lacking is the support for teachers by their school division leadership or school administrators. Has there been an effort to take a pulse check and provide support to teachers who are having difficulty dealing emotionally, physically, or financially?  How are teachers being celebrated for going above and beyond to deliver instruction and ease the fears of students? 

Thu, 05/07/2020 - 8:01 PM Permalink

This such an important question.  Educators are working hard to meet the needs of their students; it's easy to forget to help each other with our own oxygen masks! 

Panorama has a new "Comprehensive Guide to Adult SEL" that includes tools for taking a pulse check and providing support.  Check it out at: https://www.panoramaed.com/blog/comprehensive-guide-adult-sel

 

How can this resource be used with colleagues?  All: Reply with your ideas! 

Fri, 05/08/2020 - 9:29 AM Permalink

I agree that it's important for schools to provide SEL supports for both adults and students. This week, my school's SEL team organized a Restorative Justice circle for staff. One of our teachers is a yoga instructor, so she has also been offering weekly yoga sessions. However, because of scheduling conflicts, there were only a few teachers who participated. Building on the guidelines from Panorama, I wonder if it would be useful to provide this type of programming during our staff meetings or PLCs?  

Fri, 05/08/2020 - 2:48 PM Permalink
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This change to teaching and learning remotely has been really hard on all of us. I'm constantly encouraged by the efforts teachers at my school are making every day to connect with students, prioritizing SEL over content. I have a unique perspective of being an instructional math and science coach new to the position just months before school was closed down.

As I navigate new-to-me personalities and varying educator learning goals, I'm wondering how other coaches are faring. I see opportunities to push teacher thinking as they interact with math and science content as well as opportunities to heighten expectations for what students are capable of. At the same time, I know we're all so overwhelmed. How are other coaches and teacher leaders helping to provide equitable opportunities for critical thinking, while also understanding that some of us are just trying to make it through the week? I'm especially interested in how we are leveraging technology to help with this.

Fri, 05/08/2020 - 8:15 AM Permalink
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