How does developing teacher-leaders yield an “opportunity culture” and greater student success? Check out Public Impact’s case study on our Fellow, Anna Lavely, for answers:
“I set my expectations so high, but I always think there’s more that can be done,” Lavely says. “I can sometimes be a very black- and-white teacher. If I think something’s really important, teachers will say 80 percent is good. My goal? 100 percent. If you expect a lot, you get a lot."
And that led to what she calls her greatest success: a set of class – rooms proficient in both math and reading – including students in special education and English language learners.
Lavely could not have achieved this kind of result by teaching all the students herself all the time. Her secret was motivating her team members and helping them meet this high bar. The key is encouraging them, she says, and building a “we” culture. “If you walked into a team meeting, here’s what you’d see: It’s in my class-room, not a conference room. We sit in a circle or semicircle, to build that collaborative feel.
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The case study is part of Public Impact's Opportunity Culture project. Bryan Hassel and Emily Ayscue Hassel explained further in their article, "How One Leading Educators Fellow Extends Her Reach" on
How can schools redesign jobs and use technology to reach more students with excellent teachers? And how can they offer teachers more pay, within budget? Public Impact’s Opportunity Culture project aims to answer both questions. As districts and schools around the country think about extending the reach of excellent teachers, they want real-life examples to show them how to tackle each of these challenges.
In a new case study, we profile Anna Lavely of Kansas, who is participating in a two-year fellowship aimed at developing the leadership of already-excellent teachers. Her story provides one example of how schools can reach more students with great teachers—and of how many programs to increase teachers’ impact still fall short on paying teachers their due, sustainably.
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