Our Advisory Board Retreat last month yielded many thought-provoking discussions for Leading Educators. The group considered how we should define ourselves as an organization and what specific goals we want to accomplish in the future. As a young but rapidly growing organization, we are excited by these challenging questions and privileged to have an Advisory Board to guide us through the crossroads.
The retreat took place February 22-23, 2013 at Sci Academy in New Orleans East. In attendance were eight of the best and brightest minds in teacher-leadership today, from East and West Coasts, from de-centralized to large urban school districts, from charter organizations, to teacher unions, to public school systems. We are proud and appreciative of our diverse group of Advisory Board members.
We were encouraged to learn that many of the topics discussed at the retreat were relevant to the Board members’ organizations. We found a universality among our goals and challenges, across the school districts represented at the meeting and even across the Atlantic, with one the Board member coming from our sister organization Teaching Leaders UK. We discussed on a broader scale how change happens: is change most accessible on the fringes or, for teacher leadership to blossom, must it be addressed from the core of our systems?
We were reminded that systemic change — with whatever approach — is difficult to achieve. The Board encouraged us to identify our challenges specifically and then reach out to other institutions that are successfully handling similar situations. We can enrich our thinking by reaching out to multiple sectors — military, business, education, government, etc. — as their experience in developing middle leaders will likely be adaptable.
The group’s recommendations flowed with a sense of excitement about the potential of teacher-leadership in the U.S. Our advisory board is a valuable asset in our efforts to bring about student success through teacher leadership development.
Future posts will consider more specific topics discussed at the retreat—please stay tuned!