Guest Blog: Leading Through Collaborative Learning
Collaboration is important and reflection is key to being a decent leader.
I felt that DePriest deserved a leader that could change the traditional way teachers networked. It is easy to find yourself feeling isolated and defeated when you have no one to compare yourself to but colleagues that have been doing the work for years. My two new first grade teachers are hard working teachers. They are reflective, collaborative, and truly passionate about teaching children. I started the year with having them observe colleagues within our building. I found that while that was beneficial, it still did not allow them to be vulnerable. While sharing this concern with my Fulcrum Coach, Chandra, she spoke highly of teacher moves that she had seen at Legacy Charter School, in Mrs. Foster's first grade classroom. Mrs. Foster is a teacher leader at Legacy and welcomes visitors to her classroom. I asked if my new teachers and I could take a field trip to visit this teacher and learn more about her systems and structures that led to success. Once the wheels were turning, I asked my new teachers how would they feel going to see this teacher outside of our school. I explained that we would go on a field trip together.
DePriest’s visit to Legacy was an opportunity for my teachers to engage in professional development focused on bettering their craft. I spent time with them and watched as they were amazed at how this teacher spoke, moved, taught, guided, and shared her best practices. I also had an opportunity to meet with the Principal, Liz Goss and Instructional Leader, Shondelle Gillens and tap into ways that I could enhance the culture and climate of my school. I feel confident that our field trip was an opportunity to create a safe place amongst educators to collaborate and grow.