Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Classroom 10 clarity . . .

This morning we had our monthly Teaching and Learning opportunity with principals, central office staff, and teacher representatives. Our task was to continue our work at bringing clarity to the Classroom 10 characteristic of key content and checks for understanding. Working collaboratively, teachers and administrators identified descriptors for each of the key content and check for understanding best practices that are identified in the research. A copy of the document we worked from can be found here. The information generated today will be used by the Teaching and Learning Department to develop materials for supporting teacher implementation of this characteristic.

We were also able to visit classrooms using an observation tool that was designed to focus on this characteristic and the strategies used by these teachers. The data from the observations supported our conversations and added to the work on bringing clarity and a deeper understanding of this characteristic. THANK YOU to these teachers for opening up their classrooms to support this work.

The leadership work this morning and in our Teacher Leadership strand are critical components of our Classroom 10 journey. Leadership does matter as discussed in this Hechinger report. There is a growing body of evidence that the quality of a building’s leadership does have an influence on student achievement especially when combined with the teacher effect.

A 2009 study by New Leaders for New Schools found that more than half of a school’s impact on student gains can be attributed to both principal and teacher effectiveness – with principals accounting for 25 percent and teachers 33 percent of the effect.

We will continue our work with principals to create leadership teams where the leadership functions are distributed across multiple people and where we develop the capacity for individuals to support and influence the work of their colleagues.

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