I attended the first of three days of the Teacher Lead Philly Summer Institute today, and I’m feeling reflective. I’ve been thinking about finding a voice, both for my students and myself, so here goes.
I teach at a charter school, there I said it. So what? It’s an amazing charter school, one of the good ones I’d say. We don’t take -over schools, we send kids to good colleges, and we give kids a voice. Yes, we have problems; all schools have problems. So, as a charter school educator, I found myself at Swarthmore College, with 14 other Teachers Lead Philly Fellows, looking to improve my craft.
Today’s session was as rich a discussion about education as I’d ever had. I was challenged and I challenged others. Fellows and facilitators that truly want to change education surrounded me, and I think they can do it.
What’s exciting is that they want to change education from the ground floor: the classroom. Who knows more about education than teachers, right?
We started with a silent discussion about teacher leadership, where we silently wrote and then responded to peoples ideas about what teacher leadership looks like at various levels: the classroom, the school, the state, and the nation/world.
We then met to debrief and introduce ourselves, the 2015 fellow corps comprises of 15 educators; 3 from charters, and evenly split between lower and upper grades.
We then listened to lightning talks about previous teacher leadership projects. Finally I met my mentor and my partner teacher, Chris and Carl. We discussed where we had been in education, what brought us here and what projects we were thinking about.
So far here is what I have so far: 1. Create a group of teachers and assist each other in applying for their national board certification at my school and surrounding schools. 2. Develop a way to share resources for science classes among schools in the district. 3. Continue to work on using science arguments and problem based learning in class, and present about those efforts regionally.
Regardless of where my project ends up, this is a fine starting point, so I’ll end here.
Here is to a good tomorrow.