Mention peer observation inquiry (OI) in education circles, and one of the first questions is always, “How do you build teacher buy-in?” It’s a critical question. Teacher leaders, however, ask another important question: “How do you build administrator buy-in and support for peer observation inquiry?” Here are five tips to help teacher leaders engage administrators in supporting effective, job-embedded professional learning.
“Instead of brushfires for excellence, we need infernos of excellence. Our project will do this.” In a packed hotel conference room in Albuquerque, New Mexico, teacher leader Maureen Torrez, NBCT, describes the observation inquiry pilot project she and her team of National Board Certified Teachers are leading to deepen how teachers and students learn in Albuquerque public schools.
We need every teacher to believe in the full potential of every kid. Most of us share this belief, in theory. In practice, things get a little more complicated. It’s easy, for example, in a school where most students underperform, to adjust our expectations of what is possible to fit what we see. It is much more challenging to hold a vision that extends beyond the status quo, and help kids grow into that vision.
Here seven powerful practices you can use in your school to raise expectations for all students, especially ELLs, students of color, students living in poverty, or any students who are not yet thriving.
I wrote this poem about being an outsider in China in an effort to build empathy for what I have never experienced: being a new immigrant in the United States. I wrote it primarily for monolingual English speakers in my country who ask about immigrants, “Why do they stay together and speak their language?” “Why don’t they learn English?”
From my first year as a teacher, where I struggled tremendously, to now where I lead professional learning across our nations’ schools, I find a consistent theme: teachers want to learn.
It’s not apparent in every staff room, or even publicly in the culture of many districts and schools. Yet when leaders connect to the core of why people teach, and engage them in meaningful inquiry around questions that matter, teachers fire up about learning.