Mobilizing the teacher-powered school community to transform teachers and teaching

When teacher-powered teams get together, they often discuss what innovations and improvements they can bring to K-12 public schooling. For example, many teams prioritize development and assessment of students’ cognitive and noncognitive skills. A good number prioritize and measure student engagement. Demonstrating that such assessments can be used effectively for students’ learning could be a major contribution to the transformation of teaching and learning in this country.

It makes one wonder: how would our nation define student achievement or conduct teacher evaluation if more teams of teachers were running schools and their choices were setting the tone for education discussions?

Teacher-powered teams have also demonstrated that teachers find their evaluation to be more meaningful and transformative when teams design and run that evaluation themselves. When teachers are co-responsible and co-accountable for school success, they are serious about their colleagues’ training, performance, and commitment to continuous self-improvement—after all, the success of their school depends on it!

It makes one wonder: What would it mean for teaching if a national community of teacher-powered teams designed licensure requirements, as other groups of professionals do?

The teacher-powered school community can work together to refine its collective craft, build new ideas, and become catalysts and champions of change for the profession. They can document and demonstrate that putting power in the hands of teachers leads to the transformation of teachers and teaching. The Teacher-Powered Schools Initiative asserts that as the community grows, and more and more teams move into the transforming stage of development, this work will become commonplace.

Resources

Book.

Center for Teaching Quality CEO and Founder Barnett Berry and 12 teacher leaders imagine the future of teaching and learning.

Report.

In this 2011 report from the National Education Association Commission on Effective Teachers and Teaching, the commission outlines its vision for the future of the teaching profession.

Vision statement.

This vision statement on the future of American education (released by the U.S. Department of Education) was co-signed by several important education organizations.