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Going Deeper into Networks of Leading and Learning - A Team Approach Lisa Lisowski, FOS Literacy Coach Cassandra Alviani-Alvarez, Principal Gen Ling Chang, NW3 Superintendent Toronto District School Board.
- A Team Approach
Lisa Lisowski, FOS Literacy Coach
Cassandra Alviani-Alvarez, Principal
Gen Ling Chang, NW3 Superintendent
Toronto District School Board
In order to have successful teacher teams, there needs to be:
“Deliberate and conscious planning to create highly effective teams that sustain themselves in the process of continual renewal and accountability. Sustaining learning over time requires that we know and can use strategies in job-embedded ways that helps groups continue to move forward in learning and in getting results for students.”
(Gregory, G. and Lin Kuzmich. 2007. Teacher Teams that Get Results, xxii)
Consider the following question:
What does a well-functioning teacher team:
Use the T-chart to organize your thoughts.
How do you create a growth-oriented environment?
Ask: “What do the students need to learn?” rather than “What should I teach?”
3. Schedule monthly grade team meetings (use Wednesdays-all teachers must be present and no field trips, etc).
4. Develop “Big Idea” themes.
Expanding the teacher “toolkit”:
Use the Q-chart to promote higher level thinking and questioning
Provide sample frameworks and develop anchor charts for student responses
Introduce appropriate teacher resources and model pertinent strategies
Model the use of graphic organizers in sessions
Encourage the use of various text types (e.g., Narrative, poetry, informational and graphic texts)
Provide a professional reading related to the Pathway focus
Refer to and highlight strategies in Ministry Guide books (e.g., Guide to Effective Reading Instruction K-3)Developing Teacher Capacity
Allow for teacher leadership and autonomy (teachers as presenters during staff meetings)
Use of TEL system to share best practices
Utilize school budget to support priorities (release time for teacher teams)
Purchase current resources
(e.g., rich texts/picture books)
Purchase professional books for teachers (encourage co-teaching and getting rid of “dittos!”)
Include Webcasts in staff meeting agendas www.curriculumservices.orgDeveloping School Capacity
Principal will ensure:
- Student voices heard
At the end of each TLC Pathway, ask: “What is the difference that made the difference in student learning?”
Encourage year end reflection in order to reflect on the process and the journey taken.
“A spirit of community is beginning to develop amongst the Primary Team. The PLCs brought my grade colleagues and I closer together. We created stronger lesson plans and activities for our students. A common dialogue has developed throughout the entire Primary wing for discussing connection-making, inferring and features of fiction and non-fiction. The majority of my students’ post-assessments were level 3 or higher. I see the results and I feel great!”
“I found the collaboration with staff invaluable. In many ways it provided new perspective and help to affirm many of my practices or things I was considering for my program. Our staff has always been great as far as sharing teaching strategies, but meeting regularly helped to ensure that the lines of communication were always open and the shared focus meant many people brainstorming the same topic. That kind of magnification of focus with that many professionals is a great thing!”
How we know our students are successful?
-an increase in critical literacy skills
Please take a few moments to reflect on what you have heard and learned today with respect to teacher teams and learning networks. How can the information shared today apply to your own Team and/or Network?