Over the next three days, I'll be working alongside the super motivated educators at Solution Tree's PLC Institute in Minneapolis. The goal for most of the participants will be to find ways to polish their collaborative practices in order to help kids learn. Together, teams from individual schools will study everything from the core beliefs that support learning communities to the nuts and bolts of making effective collaboration possible.
As a full-time teacher and part-time consultant on Professional Learning Community implementation, I'm always asked questions like, "What kinds of things can teachers do to move their learning teams forward?" or "What kinds of people make the best leaders for learning teams?"
On Wednesday of last week, my sixth grade interdisciplinary team fed our sixth graders pizza for lunch in a mini-celebration of the end of our school year. It's kind of annual tradition around our building -- a fun way to smile together for a little while before walking away for summer break.
It has been a really interesting week in Radical Nation, y'all. You see, Dr. Griz -- a Geocaching Travel Bug that my class set free EIGHT YEARS ago made his way back to Salem Middle School after a 34 THOUSAND MILE journey through 90 caches in 4 different countries.
Blogger's Note: This was a tough post to write. It feels like a confession that I should probably just keep to myself -- but I gotta believe that other teachers of tested subjects are thinking the same thoughts as I am. While this isn't super polished, I hope it makes y'all think.
Let me ask you a quick question: Rate the last ten reform initiatives that your school, district and/or state embraced on a scale from "Ridiculously Simple" to "Ridiculously Complex." Now, think about which reform initiatives made a lasting impact and which were abandoned before the end of the next school year.
Barnett Berry is the Founder and President of the Center for Teaching Quality (CTQ), Inc., based in Carrboro, NC. CTQ seeks to dramatically improve student learning by advancing teaching as a 21st-century, results-oriented profession. He wrote TEACHING 2030 with 12 accomplished teachers.
Dan Brown is a teacher and the author of The Great Expectations School: A Rookie Year in the New Blackboard Jungle. His writing has also appeared in The Boston Globe, The New York Daily News, The New York Post, and Education Week. He is a co-author of TEACHING 2030.
John Holland is an artist, a teacher, a writer, and an innovator. After 12 years as a preschool teacher, John began working at Early Head Start/Head Start Program as a child development specialist. He is a co-author of TEACHING 2030.
Ryan Kinser is a 6th grade English teacher in Hillsborough County, Florida. After a career in television production, Ryan taught in urban Washington as a D.C. Teaching Fellow. He is a member of the Hillsborough New Millennium Initiative.
Renee Moore has taught English and journalism for 20 years in the Mississippi Delta region at both high school and community college levels. She is National Board Certified, a former state Teacher of the Year, and a co-author of TEACHING 2030.
Mark Sass has taught public high school for 18 years and has been involved in various leadership positions and policy discussions in Colorado. Mark is a member of the inaugural Aspen Teacher Leader Fellows.
In addition to our regular transformED bloggers, we frequently feature guest posts written by teachers involved in CTQ communities. We welcome teachers to share their reflections and expertise on transformED.
Noah Zeichner is a National Board Certified Teacher in Seattle. He currently serves in a hybrid teaching role, dividing his time between teaching social studies and supporting CTQ's global teacher leadership initiatives.