Learning skills for working unconventionally

Teacher-powered teams report that one of their greatest challenges is constantly dealing with the reality that they are working unconventionally—operating in new and different ways—in conventional management settings. Teachers, especially those who choose to continue working with districts and unions, report that they have to constantly spend time and resources explaining why they need waivers or why alternative management systems and structures are needed to practice their craft. Or, they spend significant time complying with systems that were designed on the assumption that all schools are the same.

For example, some schools with self-directed, project-based learning models have students learning without conventional seminar courses. But they still need to report attendance as if students were on the course schedule used by most schools in their district (unless they have made special arrangements otherwise).

Questions to ask:

  • How will your team recognize instances when efficiency is compromised by similar challenges?
  • How will your team determine when it is worth pursuing waivers or alternate systems? Alternatively, when it is best to comply and fly under the radar?
  • Will you have an individual or committee with political savvy wholly dedicated to this work?

Resources

Book.

Learn about the challenges your team might face and how other teacher-powered schools have worked to live with or overcome them.