TLC (Teacher Leadership and Compensation) is a group of teachers who work to support colleagues with personal and district professional goals. This support includes aiding teachers in reflection and planning as we collaboratively work to get better at what we do.
Below are some specific examples of TLC in action.
Coaching conversations are a cornerstone in coaching as we believe in the power of talking ideas through and collaborating to generate potential solutions. For example, one of our instructional coaches recently had a coaching conversation with a colleague about frustrations with classroom management. The teacher was struggling with a student who would not buy into the environment she was trying to create. Through intentional reflection and brainstorming together the coach and the colleague identified strategies that would help the student know exactly what to expect in her class and how they both could be successful.
Sharing and modeling learning is a key aspect of TLC. Some TLC members also dove into understanding the social emotional needs of students better. Through this learning, one teacher has begun implementing new mindfulness practices in her space. While sharing her learning journey during a faculty meeting other colleagues saw the success and asked her to model the practices in their space.
Another key aspect includes organizing and leading professional development for teachers. Some teachers have focused on sharing about personalized learning including self-paced math. Teachers have also worked on incorporating participation techniques so all students are engaged in lessons. This summer, all TLC members will be working on sessions on a variety of educational topics to present to colleagues on August 16th and 17th.
Instructional Guides have the pleasure of securing professional development experiences within their buildings and outside of them for their teachers. Three successful trips that impacted classrooms this year included trips to Des Moines and Ames. The visit to a Des Moines elementary was to see how students learn to use breathing and yoga to teach students how to self-regulate. The trip to Ames Middle School was to see Project Based Learning in action and debrief the experience to plan for the future. A second trip to Ames allowed staff that have been assigned to co-teach in a classroom the opportunity to visit veteran co-teachers in Ames to see different instructional methods in action.
The elementary school has focused on Guided Reading (an instructional approach that involves a teacher working with a small group of students who demonstrate similar reading behaviors and can all read similar levels of texts). Teachers have collaborated with colleagues to improve guided reading practice so students are confident readers. Another success came after writing and being awarded a grant for a computer program that helps students learn math concepts without words and teaches problem-solving skills.
The middle school focused its professional development around better understanding the impacts poverty and trauma have on learning. An expert from Iowa State collaborated with TLC to provide powerful experiences that challenged the middle school thinking as a whole. Suggestions for actions steps were generated by staff and shared with administration as they plan for the next year.
The high school has spent time this year continuing to maximize new scheduling and offering more courses to fit the interests and needs of our students. TLC coaches have offered support to colleagues as they roll out new classes. Technology is also a big focus for the district so instructional models offer coaching involving blended learning and flipped classrooms.
Teachers at the Nevada Community School District work to continually improve our personal practice to provide students with the best educational experience possible. We look forward to continuing this work in the 2018-19 school year.
Katie Borton, Meg Frideres and Deb Haywood are instructors in the Nevada district who support their fellow instructors with personal and professional goals.