‘For Teacher Leaders, By Teacher Leaders’ Day of Professional Development Builds Teachers’ Skills with Their Teams
Washington, DC, November 13, 2014 — The T3 Teacher Leaders who both teach and lead teams of teachers in high-need schools in Massachusetts, Indiana and Washington, D.C., gathered in Washington on November 8 for an intensive day of professional development aimed at building their instructional and leadership capacity. Led by T3 Teacher Leaders, the conference encompassed a range of school-based presentations and roundtables on topics aligned with the professional development needs of the entire network of T3 Teacher Leaders.
Tiffany Ross, a 4th grade lead teacher at Marie H. Reed Elementary School in Washington, D.C., and a Year 2 T3 Teacher Leader, opened the conference by speaking about the impact of the T3 work on her school, team and students, as well as on her own career as an educator. She shared that her students’ proficiency in her team’s focus areas has improved 34 percentage points, from 17 percent to 51 percent, in the last academic year alone.
School presentations covered topics such as “Overcoming Hurdles to Teacher Collaboration: A T3 Team’s First-Year Journey,” “Creating Team Goals Aligned to the Standards of Mathematical Practice,” and “Creating a School-Wide Data System.” Roundtables included “Discussion, Data, Decisions: Moving from Numbers to Action,” “Reading Growth for All: Designing Interventions for Struggling Readers,” and “Sharing is Caring: How Shared Leadership Supports a High-Functioning Team,” among many others.
“The T3 National Conference brought together exceptional teachers from all T3 partner schools for a full-day of hands-on collaborative learning designed to build on teachers’ own leadership knowledge and expertise,” said Daryl Campbell, T3 National Training and Development Manager. “T3 is grounded in our belief that professional learning and support must be embedded in everyday work in order for the teachers to thrive and succeed in high-needs schools. The T3 National Conference is one part of a year-long series of professional development sessions that are led by the very people who are living and doing the work – the T3 teachers and their coaches.”
Since its launch with Boston Public Schools in 2010, the T3 Initiative has proven what is possible to achieve through teacher leadership at the school level. All three schools in the first cohort in Boston Public Schools (Orchard Gardens K-8 School, Trotter Elementary School, and Blackstone Elementary School) have left state-determined turnaround status. Two of the schools went from Level 4 status (the bottom five percent of schools in Massachusetts) to Level 1 status (top performing schools in Massachusetts) during their time with T3. During the first three years of implementation in Boston Public Schools, all of the schools in partnership with T3 (Orchard Gardens K-8 School, Trotter Elementary School, Blackstone Elementary School, Roger Clap Elementary School, Dearborn Middle School, and UP Academy) showed accelerated student growth in both English Language Arts (ELA) and math.
At each T3 partner school, the cohort of T3 Teacher Leaders comprises a critical mass (approximately 20-25% depending on school size) of the total teaching staff. In addition to being full-time classroom teachers, the T3 Teacher Leaders lead collaborative inquiry among the members of their teacher teams as well as participate in school-wide strategic instructional decisions. Teachers also actively pursue leadership development with guidance from the school’s principal, T3 coach and T3 leadership staff.
About Teach Plus
Teach Plus aims to improve outcomes for urban children by ensuring that a greater proportion of students have access to effective, experienced teachers. Teach Plus runs three programs designed to place teacher leaders at the center of improvement at all levels of the education system: Teaching Policy Fellowship, C2: Core Collaborative, and the T3 Initiative. The programs focus on demonstrably effective teachers who want to continue classroom teaching while expanding their impact as leaders in their schools and in local, state and federal policy. Since its inception in 2009, Teach Plus has grown to a network of more than 19,000 solutions-oriented teachers in six major cities nationwide. www.teachplus.org