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Leaders in Learning Teacher Leadership: The Key to Change Presenters Melissa Flatt, Teacher Leader Gale Lundberg, Teacher Leader Michele Willson, Principal.

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Presentation on theme: "Leaders in Learning Teacher Leadership: The Key to Change Presenters Melissa Flatt, Teacher Leader Gale Lundberg, Teacher Leader Michele Willson, Principal."— Presentation transcript:

1 Leaders in Learning Teacher Leadership: The Key to Change Presenters Melissa Flatt, Teacher Leader Gale Lundberg, Teacher Leader Michele Willson, Principal Mike Maryanski, Superintendent

2 We are Tahoma School District  Lake Wilderness Elementary (PreK-5) – 939  Shadow Lake Elementary (PreK-5)  Glacier Park Elementary (K-5)- 867  Rock Creek Elementary (k-5) – 846  Tahoma Middle School (6-7)  Cedar River Middle School (6-7)  Tahoma Junior High School (8-9)  Tahoma High School (10-12)

3 Why are we here?  Because of our Leadership Journey Leadership is the engine that drives our journey It requires a skill set The skill set can be learned

4 Our purpose today is to...  Share our journey  Create some dissonance around the topic of teacher leadership  Learn from your experiences

5 To learn from you, please... Complete the form that we have handed out that shares your learning, experiences, and readings about teacher leadership

6 As we start this journey...  Please take a moment to list the behaviors that you predict a system would be engaging in that was committed to developing and sustaining teacher leadership

7 Why focus on leadership? “…vision is a necessary but insufficient condition for effective leadership. Leadership must, in the words of the brilliant leadership theoretician Richard Elmore (2000), be “distributed.” … Distributed leadership is based on trust, as well as the certain knowledge that no single leader possesses the knowledge, skills, and talent to lead an organization…” The Learning Leader, Douglas Reeves

8 We now realize that... Leadership must be distributed while remembering that... “... it is unrealistic to assume that one day a group of educators gathered together in the faculty lounge will suddenly begin to re-examine the basic assumptions, beliefs, and practices that constitute the culture of their school. Major change almost never begins from the bottom.” Dufour, DuFour, Eaker, Many

9 Resulting in a new view where... “... we picture a highly capable “leader- learner”, someone with the courage and capability to learn, and help those around him learn, as they collectively create a path toward a previously unattained destination.” Wagner

10 We need new leadership to... Instead of looking for saviors, we should be calling for leadership that will challenge us to face problems for which there are no simple, painless solutions – problems that require us to learn new ways. To look at the role of leader as mobilizing people to tackle tough problems. Heifitz

11 What does leadership look like...  In our school community It started with an Instructional Leadership Model for administrators (8 years) We realized it needed to expand to include teachers (3 years) Not just coaches or TOSA’s Building leaders Opinion leaders The model includes...

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13 Why teachers...  The scope of the change initiatives requires much more support What to teach and how to teach it  The need for support at the classroom level Staff development where the work takes place  To take advantage of the social capital in the buildings  To better balance demand and support

14 Our focus for teachers...  The skill set includes the ability to... Effectively Communicate Effectively Facilitate meetings of various sizes and purposes Effectively manage the Change process to ensure successful implementation that sustains over time

15 The skill set for...  Effective Communication SPACE Silence-Paraphrase-Accepting-Clarifying-Evidence Know and use the points on the discussion continuum Debate-Polite Discussion-Skillful Discussion-Dialogue Balance Advocacy and Inquiry Recognize Mental Models and Ladders of Inference Sharing Public and Private thoughts Influencing others

16 The skill set for...  Facilitation Creating a lesson plan Short and long term goals Active processing strategies Managing a meeting

17 The skill set for...  Supporting change Teaching a model – Bridges, Managing Transitions, letting go, Neutral zone, New beginning Staff Development Model Learn, observe, practice, feedback/reflection, evaluation Developing an influencer skill set – Patterson, Influencer: The Power to Change Anything Vital behaviors, change the way you change minds

18 We have learned that...  We must distribute these leadership functions There are not enough administrators Influence needs to be at the point of contact – classrooms and grade level/department/team meetings  We need to identify capacity and nurture teacher leadership

19 Leaders are responsible for...  The Passion and Energy necessary for creating the environments for successful change  It requires Competence Character Commitment – moral purpose Caring Site Plan vs. Moral Purpose

20 Change – Lead From Head and Heart It’s About Caring If you don’t feel a burning passion for something. How in the world can you inspire and encourage others to share it? Until you get close enough to the flame to feel the heat, how can you know the surface? Kouzes and Posner

21 The environment must consider...

22 And balancing...

23 Does it MATTER? Expected Passing Rates for Schools Depending on Leadership Effectiveness % Schools Passing Test % Schools Failing Test Principals rated in top half on effectiveness Principals rated in bottom half

24 Does it MATTER? Expected Passing Rates for Schools Depending on Leadership Effectiveness % Schools Passing Test % Schools Failing Test Principals rated in top half on effectiveness 62.5%37.5% Principals rated in bottom half 37.5%62.5%

25 We would suggest that...  Leadership is the engine that propels the journey Without the engine we stay home and maintain status quo Moral purpose is the fuel that starts the engine and a common purpose and destination are the renewing source of fuel to keep moving on the journey

26 This work must take place...  In Collaborative Cultures  Our choice is a focus on Professional Learning Communities A focus on learning for all A collaborative culture Collective inquiry into best practice and current reality Action orientation: Learning by doing A commitment to continuous improvement Results orientation

27 Our journey started with...  Collaboration with our bargaining units Consensus decision making Developing a decision making matrix Identifying who controls “district curriculum” Shifting from evaluation to supervision

28 Our focus is on PLC’s The first and most brutal fact that must be confronted in creating a Professional Learning Community is that the task is not merely challenging: it is daunting. DuFour

29 It MUST be built on a...  Foundation of... Vision Mission Values Goals

30 Our journey at Rock Creek... Demonstrates to us that it is possible to move on this journey using the foundations of a PLC to surface critical issues and to find adaptive solutions that focus on the need of students.

31 This journey follows what Collins tells us in Good to Great... There was no single defining action, no grand program, no one killer innovation, no solitary lucky break, no wrenching revolution. Good to great comes about by a cumulative process – step by step, action by action, decision by decision, turn by turn of the flywheel – that adds up to sustained and spectacular results.

32 An example of skillful conversation at Rock Creek...  Viewing a video of a grade 5 team meeting focused on homework  Please be looking for examples of skillful conversation and skillful facilitation  Melissa will lead us in reviewing this conversation

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34 The Rock Creek Elementary School Journey

35 First Steps… Leadership Team Changes Data Decision Making Matrix

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37 Focus on mission The mission of our Rock Creek community of students, staff and parents is to create an environment of trust, respect and support gained through our shared responsibility for teaching and learning.

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39 Focus on mission Core Commitments

40 Professional Core Commitments Let our mission guide professional agreements and decision-making. Keep focused on goal outcome. Stay on the task/topic at hand. Practice effective communication skills (i.e. active listening/SPACE) Practice confidentiality and professionalism. When professional agreements are made, make sure all team members understand the agreement (including their roles), follow-through with actions and words, and refrain from sabotage.

41 Focus on mission Core Commitments Communication (SPACE)

42 S P A C E SSilence: Providing time for self and others to think; wait time PParaphrasing: Reflecting content and/or feelings back to the speaker to demonstrate understanding and to build rapport AAccepting Language: Using nonjudgmental responses so that people can think through their responses CClarifying Questions: Seeking elaboration and specificity of thought. EEvidence: Asking for specific examples to support statements

43 Professional Learning Community (DuFour Model)

44 A sample from a meta-analysis of 17 studies of collaborative practices and school improvement A study of higher and lower success elementary schools showed marked differences in collaborative practices. “In successful schools, there is a team mentality of working together to improve the abilities of students.” Research by Shaefer, Hultgren, et al…

45 Critical attributes of professional learning communities include... A focus on learning A collaborative culture with a focus on learning for all Collective inquiry into best practice and current reality Action oriented: Learning by doing A commitment to continuous improvement Results oriented From Whatever It Takes, by DuFour, Eaker. And Karhanek

46 A collaborative culture with a focus on learning for all.

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48 Professional Learning Community (DuFour Model) Focus on communication Examples Crucial Conversations Coaching/Consulting Ladders of Inference

49 How has school culture been impacted? Then & Now Staff commitment to shared responsibility for students –Cross grade level discussions about improving student learning –Social/emotional support structures –Academic interventions for students –Special education collaboration with classroom teachers –What’s best for students?

50 How has school culture been impacted? Then & Now Staff commitment to shared responsibility for students Grade level/department meetings How teacher leadership is viewed Dealing with disagreements and conflicts Building governance structure Example of change in portable policy conversations over time

51 How has student learning been impacted? Consistent student learning improvement

52 Rock Creek Elementary WASL Historical Data Percentage of Students Meeting Standard YearReadingWritingMath Grade 4

53 How has student learning been impacted? Consistent student learning improvement 1 st and 2 nd grade reading program (delivery change model) Interventions Teaming Intentional support for grade level/department collaboration and professional development Commitment to data analysis and data- driven decisions

54 Rock Creek 2 nd Grade Team Linda Parker-Roberts


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