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District Leadership Teams

Developing Teacher Leaders through Instructional Leadership TeamsMaria MatlackLumberton School DistrictWhat comes to mind when you hear PLC??Describe how PLCs are functioning in your school or district.What members comprise your PLCs?How is the agenda created?What is the typical work of the PLC?Does their professional learning impact other teachers? If so, how?A Teacher Leadership Team is a PLCWhy are teacher leaders so important?The gap between the most proficient and least proficient teacher in any school is twice as large as the gap between the teachers in that school and those in other schools.

Professional Capital

Teachers in the same school are not on the same page.Andy Hargreaves & Michael FullanIf we are to truly improve student learning, it is vital that we identify the most important barrier to school improvement. And that barrier is the effect of within-school variability on learning. The variability between schools in most Western countries is far smaller than the variability within schools. John Hattie (Visible Learning)Average variability between schools: 36%Average variance within schools: 64%There is every reason to assume that by attending to the problem of variability within a school and increasing the effectiveness of all teachers there will be a marked overall increase in achievement.John Hattie: Too often attempts at collective action lead to forming groups, such as professional learning communities, but the focus of these groups is rarely on sharing evaluative evidence and thinking about what has been effective.Too often, collaboration is about sharing resources, sharing anecdotes and war stories and sharing beliefs about why or why not something might work in my context.Do you think your PLCs address this?This professional community would enhance equity so that everyone can aim for excellence, make schools inviting places to learn for all and develop the conditions (trust, leadership, passion, and success) for collaboration to maximize the impact on learning.

Continually improving ones teachingPlanning instruction, improving practice, and teaching not as an individual but as a member of a high-performing teamContributing to the development of the professionTeaching like a pro=continuous learning, collegial feedback, respect for evidence, striving for excellence, going above and beyond7

Americas competitors know that the main point is not the effect of an individual teacherthat counts, but rather how you maximize the cumulative effect of many, many teachers over time for each and every student..Professional capital= highly committed, continuously improving, abie to make judgments using all their capabilities and experienceGroups, teams, and communities are far more effective than individuals I developing HUMAN capital (TALENT)Social Capital=interactions that are focused on student learning, thus making a large and measurable difference in student achievement and sustained improvementLow-ability teachers perform as well as teachers of average ability if they have strong social capital in their school (Leana)Decisional Capital=exericse judgments and decisions with collective responsibility, openeness to feedback, and willing transparency. Not afraid to make mistakes as long as they learn from them8Do you think your PLCs build Professional Capital across your school/district?One more question:What messages are you getting about the value of your own professional development when the only professional learning community time is low-cost meetings to implement laid-on agendas? -Hargreaves and FullanIncreasing student achievementImplementing new curriculum/standards Achieving buy-inMultiplying the results for your effortsHorizontal articulationVertical articulationConsistency in instruction and teacher quality across the school/district

What are your goals?Effectively developing teacher leaders can help you achieve any one or all of these!K-8 suburban school districtApproximately 1300 studentsSingle-attendance schoolsK-12-34-56-8Lumberton Schools: Who we areIncrease student achievementImplement new curriculum/standards Achieve buy-inMultiply the results for your effortsHorizontal articulationVertical articulationConsistency in instruction and teacher quality across the district

Our GoalsOur Journey201120142014-152015Literacy Leadership Team (LLT), 2011New Common Core ELA curriculumGetting Started

Reading specialist from each schoolAt least one teacher volunteer from each grade

Selecting Members

Unpack the standardsDeeply understand the Units of Study in the new curriculum Recognize the progression from grade to grade to arrive at the big pictureTurnkey these understandings to colleagues at the grade levelAchieve consistency across each grade and appropriate vertical progressionGoalsMonthly half-day release datesSome whole district meetings and some school or grade level-band meetings

MethodsAgendasYear 1Year 2Year 3Planned turnkey meetings to help colleagues see the overall intent and goals of each unit, thus strengthening instructional decisionsStudied progression from one grade to the next in an area of skill developmentIdentified possible anchor and mentor textsStudied and turn-keyed the use of rubrics/continuum to analyze formative assessmentsRefined and turn-keyed instructional best practicesEngaged in horizontal and vertical inquiry, reflection and problem solving Examples LLT collected students writing notebooks across the grade levelsThey examined them, looking for patterns and exceptionsThey shared their observations with their colleaguesThe whole school discussed conclusions and steps to increase writing volume.6th grade received push-back from parents regarding homework.LLT members brought issue to the group.They viewed the progression for grades 5-7 and identified some appropriate revisions to the 6th grade approach.This not only solved the homework issue but also created an opportunity for deep discussion regarding our learning goals and how they could be best achieved.Are our students writing enough?How does 6th grade homework fit between 5th and 7th?For instance

Our students cant do this!

Our students CAN do this!Our students ARE DOING this!


JanuaryOutcomesVoices from the FieldHow do we know this impacted learning?

Measurable ResultsGrowth 2012-2013 in Students Scoring Proficient or Advanced Proficient in ELA on NJ ASKGrade345678Total Stud0.5%10.2%4.5%1.3%2.5%General Ed8.5%3.5%5.0%2.0%Special Ed.7.0%27.6%15.2%Afr Amer18.1%10.3%15.6%3.1%Econ Dis8.7%12.0%14.7%6.5%2.0%22Voices from the field


Our first graders grew so much. As I went through the few papers that Id saved from the beginning of the year, I was pulled back to September and the memory of how these little guys worked so hard just to put down a few words on their papers. And now, they are churning out their own poems, how-tos, realistic fiction, and adventure books. Its a good feeling to know that we got them started!

At first we were skeptical about the ability of first graders to function in nonfiction book clubs. Then we saw them do it! Students were sprawled out next to each other on the floor with multiple nonfiction books open in front of them, moving across all the texts to compare and contrast.

Informational Writing- Grade 2 Teachers were very pleasantly surprised by the quality of these books! We learned not to underestimate our 2nd grade writers! Even among books on the same topic, every book was as unique as its author. The reader could see what was important to the books author. Just like published informational books, each had its own angle.I can honestly say that in the beginning of the year, I felt writing progress was very slow. But during the test prep unit, when we were writing a variety of things all of the time, I began to see such marked improvement. Not only in volume but also in willingness to write, a desire to succeed, and desire to apply all they had learned.This led right into the revision unit, which has been my most favorite unit of the year. The kids have had a blast rereading their earliest entries and published pieces, and I overhear, Oh my gosh. This stinks! I have GOT to revise this! They are showing an ability to apply what they have learned.


Peer talk - increased in volume and in an ability to sustain meaningful conversations, be it about books or writing.We have kids who truly enjoy writing and can write with stamina and volume

In the self-contained special education class, the students were excited by mid-year to write. Now every time I mention writing they say, Yeah, cant wait to get started! This thrills me that they see themselves as good writers who enjoy their craft.In clubs, students researched topics and presented their information through a selected lens.

Grade 4- Researchers One and All!Some people think jellyfish are fish, but theyre really notSharks are not really as dangerous as you might think.

I was just doing this read-aloud, and suddenly- spontaneously- my students began applying everything they learned in reading this year. They connected the story with other read-alouds that had similar themes; they compared and contrasted; they.Grade 5

As writers, our students are better prepared for NJ ASK than they have ever been before.Grade 6

This is the best writing I have ever seen in my seventh grade students.

I cannot wait to start getting kids who have had this teaching, as they trickle up to me.Math Leadership Team (MLT), 2014The Next Stage

At least one teacher volunteer from each gradeNo overlap with members of LLT

Selecting Members

Unpack the standards with special attention to the Math PracticesRecognize the progression from grade to grade to arrive at the big pi


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