Teacher Leaders UK

Video: Thanks for a Great Week of Teacher Leadership!

In June our teacher leader Fellows from across the country came together in New Orleans for our first National Intensive. With this video, we want to celebrate their work and thank the many guests and facilitators who made National Intensive such a success, including keynote speakers Pedro Noguera, the Metropolitan Center for Research on Equality and the Transformation of Schools; Secretary Arne Duncan, US Department of Education, with Emily Davis and Maddie Fennel, Teach to Lead; Katie Haycock and Brook Haycock, Ed Trust; and Andrea Berkeley, formerly of Teaching Leaders UK.

Thank you all for your dedication to ensuring great teachers for all students!

Teacher Leaders Visit Counterparts in United Kingdom

In April, Leading Educators took seven Fellows to England in partnership with Teaching Leaders UK and the British Council. The trip followed an earlier visit to New Orleans by several teacher leaders from the United Kingdom. 

The exchange is sponsored by the British Council with the intention of teacher leaders sharing best practices, learning from observing each others' schools and classrooms and from discussing their roles. Many of our attending teacher leaders wrote short pieces on their experiences during the trip. We plan to publish all of these perspectives, starting with Bridget Cantrell, Elementary Instructional Coordinator at Ott Elementary in Kansas City. Bridget published a blog of her own to share her trip with her school: 
 

Day #2 Such a big world, yet a common mission!

I can't help but listen to the UK team and learn about their education structure and think we have a common mission; to educate all students to the highest level that they can possible attain in order to improve our society and quality of life for each and every student.

Most of the day was gaining knowledge of the English structure of education and the historical aspect  of educational change and reform.  I think I was most impressed by the accountability system description by Barry who is a Teaching Leader coach and OLFSTED evaluator.  OLFSTED is the accountability function run by the government.  I connected this to our MSIP 5 accountability but layered with a site visit.  The spirit of accountability was represented by a true spirit of growth for each student.

The thought of Middle Leaders has brought much traction to recent UK thinking.  Middle Leaders are  vital to the grass roots effort of change within a school.  OFSTED even recognizes the impact of these folks in the improvement process and has designated look fors during site visits.  I can't feel excited to think about the defined support roles of teacher leaders in the trenches and yet serving as support to colleagues and Principals.  I think this is an undefined role in the US, a thankless, unrecognized silent leadership role.  I can't help but wonder why we don't recognize these practitioners in a formal leadership role. 


You can read the rest of this post and find Bridget's other posts here: http://bcantrellle.blogspot.co.uk/2014/04/such-big-world-yet-common-mission-cant.html

Studying Teacher-Leadership with Leading Educators in Houston

Two principals from London joined the Greater New Orleans Fellowship's School Visits Trip (SVT) to Houston this fall. 

by Beth Kobel, Vice Principal, Preston Manor School, London, UK


This year I have had the opportunity to visit inner city American schools to gather good practice happening in effective schools. Our time in Houston allowed for an opportunity to join a Leading Educators School Visits Trip (SVT) designed for their Fellows. The experience was fantastic! From the very beginning, it was clear that this was going to be a highly organized and effective three days.

At each of the schools visited, we were able to experience a variety of events including: lesson observations, meetings with teaching staff and administration, learning about their induction programs and staff development opportunities, interviewing panels of students, observing student government classes, and visiting spirit assemblies. Every school was very welcoming, highly organized, provided extensive information and answered any questions.

What was an especially valued added bonus, was visiting these schools with highly professional and enthusiastic middle leaders from New Orleans. Seeing the schools through their eyes and listening to their high level of conversation was a fantastic opportunity to learn so much about what we were observing in the context of culture.

Leading Educators has designed the SVT exceptionally well. At the end of each day their are structured opportunities to share good practice, review the evidence gathered to demonstrate various 'levers', as well as begin planning for how this practice might impact on their home schools.

There were so many practical examples to influence our practice on both individual and whole school levels. One thing that I will take away from this visit is the positive impact they are having by dedicating a significant amount of time and resources to staff development. In every school the commitment to making this a priority was evident in its culture, consistency, structure and timetable. Thank you for this opportunity - It really was inspiring!