Howdy,

I've never met most of you, but I need your help.

I'm attending a phone conference on Thursday with the director of Stand for Children, a national organization dedicated to advocacy for children. He has been asked to write an article for a future issue of Ed. Leadership. The issue will be focused on teachers as leaders, and the article toward which our conversation will be directed will address teacher activism.

When I was invited to join the conversation, part of the request was that I relate anecdotal evidence of educators (particularly teachers) changing policy (written or not). I immediately thought of Classroom 2.0, as the posts I read here are universally insightful, charged, and eloquent.

I am particularly interested to know how, as a teacher-leader, your energy for exploring the possibilities around School 2.0 have shaped policy in your sphere of influence.

Two examples I am already thinking of including:

1. Chris Lehman's school in Philadelphia -- SLA empowers teachers t...

2. Karl Fisch's "Did You Know" presentation. It has pushed me and caused me to share it with just about anybody ...

So, what are you doing? How has your activism, your teacher-leadership, affected educational policy (on any level)?

This post will be duplicated on my blog at edhocracy.

Look forward to hearing from you!

jeremiah

Views: 36

Comment by Carolyn Foote on April 22, 2007 at 7:40pm
Our high school campus has a Vision committee as well as a Campus leadership team, and the principal has empowered those teams to help plan and implement changes to policy, as well as to study changes like new schedules and new staff development programs.

I think the presence of a principal who empowers staff and treats them as informed professionals is very important to this process. Equally important is teachers being willing to participate as leaders on their campuses, of course--but they won't be willing if there isn't a receptive and supportive environment.

One example of something our committee has done--we wanted to study curriculum and strategies at other high performing schools. Our site visit committee planned a trip to visit a variety of six schools in California, planned the trip, prepared a fact sheet and interview questions for each school, and then debriefed and selected ideas we would try to implement on our return. Together the team and our principal created a priority list, and presented our findings to parents and the campus.

Again, all of this was made possible by a supportive leader and supportive leadership at the district level.
It was one of the most exciting projects I"ve ever been a part of, and we learned so much from our colleagues.
Comment by Jeremiah Patterson on April 22, 2007 at 7:43pm
Thank you, Carolyn! This is exactly the kind of story which will resonate with people.
A follow-up question (or two): who's 'vision' was the vision committee? How are the members selected? Is this autonomous of the Site Council?
Comment by Durff on April 22, 2007 at 7:46pm
Not sure any policies are changing, have you looked at the Flatclassroom Project or the Horizon Project http://horizonproject.wikispaces.com/
I would check with Wes Fryer too. Good luck with the phone conference!
Comment by Jeremiah Patterson on April 22, 2007 at 8:18pm
Thanks! I joined the horizon project and cross-posted there.
Comment by Carolyn Foote on April 23, 2007 at 4:14pm
We had a new principal and the committee was her idea. The goal--to plan what we as a high school needed to do to be ready for the graduates of 2020.

We established four subcommittees--Research into 21st Century learning, Site Visits, College/Business Connections, and Emerging Technologies.

Each group had its own chair(the chair of our committee is a high school junior) and set its own plan and goals.

The committee is made up entirely of volunteers--teachers, administrators, parents, and students.
Does that clarify any?
Comment by Matt Kish on April 24, 2007 at 6:55pm
How has your exposure to web 2.0 tools and those using them well affected your collegial relationships?

I think that so far I can say that it has created some very interesting collegial relationships. I often have trouble connecting with some of my colleagues in my own building because we have very different philosophies. In our building, the negative voices too often drown out the ones that call for improvement and change. The status quo maintains. I have too often been left with a lack of positive, meaningful relationships from which I can learn.

These new tools have given me a chance to connect with people who are passionate about similar issues as I am. By reading blogs I feel like I have instantly gained hundreds and mentors and colleagues. I can get advice, bounce ideas off of them, and learn from the experiences that they are sharing.

So, because I am still relative new at this game, I can't say that it has affected the relationships I have at school (yet - I am sure it will soon), but it has led to the creation of new relationships that otherwise would not have existed.



Do you find yourself advocating for changes in policy (written or not) to reflect the possibilities you see for education?

At this point, only to a tiny, tiny degree. I am in the midst of attempting my first project with digital storytelling and finding that we need to get some software and other tools to help us. Over the next few days I will have to work with the administrators to hopefully get these things accepted. These are free tools, so I will be very curious to see the reaction, as it may give a window into their thinking about these new tools.


Again, sorry I couldn't add more ...

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