Despite my best intentions of “live blogging” (which I really don’t know how to do) at the 2015 Teaching and Learning Conference in Washington, D.C, the confluence of too much to learn, a really old laptop and spotty wi-fi gave me permission to just sit back and learn. Warning: lots of links ahead…each worthy of exploring!
My singular focus at this conference was on teacher leadership and creating systems that will develop and sustain teacher leadership. I started on Friday with a session about Teacher-Led PD, then was a panelist in sessions to promote teacher voice through blogging (with David Cohen, Ray Salazar, Renee Moore and Daniela Robles…whose collective resumes are astounding) before being on another panel about how NBCTs can use their own leadership stories to help other teachers find their own pathways, where I also shared about CSTP’s Teacher Leadership Skills Framework, and mentioned the work of the Auburn SD and Camas SD Teacher Leadership Academies.
Saturday was a day for learning, first about a unique partnership between the Center for Teaching Quality (CTQ), NEA and NBPTS. This “trifecta” of sorts parallels our big three here in Washington state (CSTP, WEA and OSPI) and the power of bringing those three partners together at the national level was evident. This partnership helped to produce the Teacher Leadership Competencies. Like CSTP’s Teacher Leadership Skills Framework, the Teacher Leadership Competencies point out that there are unique skills necessary for effective leadership, and takes the added step of differentiating these skills for instructional leadership, policy leadership, and association leadership. These competencies are also deconstructed into leveled scales that describe what teacher leadership performance in these various skills might look like.
I also had the opportunity to spend a little time in a workshop facilitated by Leading Educators, which focuses on supporting teacher leadership skills for promoting change. In particular, the publication “Leading from the Front of the Classroom” (among others) offers much food for thought about creating systems of teacher leadership that are sustainable.
Lots to read, lots to think about. Good thing I had a cross-country flight to digest it all.
There was much more at the conference, including plenary sessions that were webcast live and were recorded (currently available if you click on the scrolling banner at the top of teachingandlearning2015.org). Visit there and take a look!
Last but certainly not least, at my group panel session about amplifying teacher voice through blogging, I met a handful of teacher-bloggers when the five of us panelists broke into small groups for discussion. Take a look at what teachers across the nation are writing about:
- Paul Emerich, from northern California and his blog InspirED at thethinkingspecialist.com
- Megan Pankiewicz, from Maryland (via Florida) and her blog Teachersoup
- Jennifer Orr, Virginia, and her blog Elementary, My Dear, or Far From It at jenorr.com
- Claudia Swisher, a veteran teacher in Oklahoma and her blog Fourth Generation Teacher