Published on Real Clear Education, October 15, 2015, by Multi-Classroom Leader Maggie Vadala
This piece is the sixth in a series of monthly pieces by teachers participating in the Opportunity Culture initiative, a movement launched in 2011 by education policy and consulting firm Public Impact. Pilot schools in Charlotte-Mecklenburg and Cabarrus County, N.C,; Nashville, Tenn.; Syracuse, N.Y.; Big Spring, Texas; and Indianapolis are using Public Impact’s new job models and career paths. These “Opportunity Culture” models are aimed at improving the quality of education by extending the reach of excellent teachers and their teams, to encourage teacher selectivity, increase opportunities for teachers to advance in their careers without leaving the classroom, promote on-the-job learning, and boost teacher pay — all within regular budgets.
I’m practically a Syracuse City Schools lifetime member—from student, to teacher, to coach, then nearly into administration—but with a happy detour. I got to return to the classroom in a new position of multi-classroom leader. As the MCL, I lead a team of teachers while continuing to teach—the sweet spot for this point in my career.
But at a school new to me, in a new leadership role, with teachers who didn’t necessarily sign up for the total collaboration and openness of this team-teaching model, I faced challenges. I knew we needed to focus on data—we did need data to “drive our instruction”—and that meant sharing our students’ results with the whole team. [Read more…]