Top 10 Accomplishments of 2015
Our first Teacher-Powered Schools National Conference sold out!Over 200 people from 23 states attended our national conference in November. Some attendees were teacher teams just getting started on designing their schools, others were seasoned practitioners looking to improve. There were also many supportive union leaders, researchers, and advocates in attendance. The positive, hopeful energy in the room was amazing!
We connected with teacher teams and added them to our inventory and network.
We now have 90 public schools in our inventory of teacher-powered schools. As we add schools, we establish a relationship with their teacher teams and weave them into our network—providing those doing the work an opportunity to share their successes with one another and collaborate on challenges.
We supported teacher-powered schools under development.
We now know of more than 27 teacher teams in the process of designing schools, and the list grows each month. Local, state, and national unions, plus 16 schools in the design phase, sent teams and teachers to our national conference to learn how to start and support teacher-powered schools!
Our “Steps to Creating a Teacher-Powered School Guide” went digital.
We put our invaluable guide online to make it easier to find and use more than 300 resources to help teachers working at or interested in starting a teacher-powered school.
We published a set of eight “Discussion Starters” created by and for teacher teams.
These free, workbook-style resources are the product of discussions with a group of teachers already working in successful teacher-powered schools. Each starter features discussion questions for teacher teams to take up as a group, as they design their schools. Topics include developing shared purpose, securing autonomy, collaborative management, instructional approaches, and more.
Our first cohort of Teacher Ambassadors became leaders among leaders.
We trained and supported six teacher ambassadors from pioneering teacher-powered schools across the county. These leaders are the face and voice of the initiative, sharing stories of the work they do every day at their schools and the positive impact it has on student learning and the teaching profession. In 2016, six new teacher ambassadors will help lead the teacher-powered initiative.
Our digital and media presence grew, fostering connections between teacher-powered teams and those yet to come.
Followers of @teacherpowered on Twitter doubled and our Facebook followers quadrupled. Our monthly Twitter chats continue to grow in popularity and the #teacherpowered hashtag has now been used over 10,000 times! The tag was even “trending” at #6 on Twitter the during our national conference on November 7th. Ambassadors and initiative leaders were published multiple times including regular contributions to Huffington Post and chapters in the international Flip the System book.
Check out Kim Farris Berg’s blog posts on Huffington Post, or Lori Nazareno, Barnett Berry, and Kim Farris-Berg’s chapters on teacher leadership in the new international book, Flip the System.
We presented at meetings and conferences around the country.
Our ambassadors and initiative leaders presented to hundreds of teachers, union leaders, policy advocates, and other educators about the benefits of teacher-powered. We facilitated design thinking activities for districts and local unions and led sessions at more than 20 conferences and events across the United States from California to Washington, D.C. including the NEA Leadership Summit and AFT TEACH.
We greatly expanded our website.
The teacher-powered website was built out to feature school profiles, a step-by-step guide to creating schools, a collection of news coverage, a link to our online community, and much more. In 2015 the site drew in over 25,000 unique visitors, with monthly traffic quadrupling over the course of the year!
We built relationships with key allies.
We had meetings with leaders from dozens of organizations around the country who are involved in teacher-leadership work—including teacher unions, state legislators, advocacy organizations, journalists, foundations, and others.
In 2016 we look forward to continuing to connect and support teachers as they make decisions impacting student success!