Seeing your team as part of a larger community of teacher-powered schools

While working your way through the four previous stages—Forming, Storming, Norming, and Performing—your team was necessarily focused on the task of creating a teacher-powered school as well as designing and implementing improvement processes.

Entering the Transforming stage means that, while internal focus will always be a priority, you can now also see your team and school as part of a much larger community. The community of teacher-powered schools has goals in and of itself that are separate from the goals of individual schools. Yet the community’s realization of its goals will benefit individual schools as well as the community as a whole.

Joining a community

Here are three reasons joining the larger community of teacher-powered schools is important for your team, and for the overall success of teacher-powered schools:

  1. Teams can provide one another with much-needed support and perspective, including encouragement, a sense of identity, and strategies that contribute to success. Your team might feel like it is the only one out there struggling. But stepping back and learning about other teams might help you feel less isolated and find solutions. It will also help you share and spread your own successes.
  2. Your team’s work will be legitimized if you acknowledge that you are a part of a larger community of professionals, especially if you are able to communicate a working knowledge of that community and its shared purpose (mission, vision, values, and goals). For example, if your teacher-powered school needs to secure autonomy in additional areas to be more successful, your team can use the information about national growth as well as success stories or practical tools (e.g., sample contracts) from other areas to help make the case.
  3. In order for more teachers to start or seek to work in teacher-powered schools, and to see teacher-powered schools as a means to transforming teaching and schooling, they need to know that the opportunity exists. Teachers need to know that there are teams of teachers across the nation that have already been successful in their efforts to secure autonomy in designing and running schools. Teams have also been successful in supporting others in their efforts to start teacher-powered schools. Your team can help provide this knowledge and encouragement.

Resources

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This list features all the known K-12 public schools where teachers have collective autonomy to make decisions influencing school success.

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Individual teachers from some teams serve as an Ambassador to the larger community of teacher-powered schools. These teacher leaders receive a stipend from the Teacher-Powered Schools Initiative (TPSI) to “go public” with their teams’ bold ideas and expert practices and to provide support for teams who are starting or improving schools with similar autonomy arrangements or learning approaches. TPSI provides training and support for Ambassadors as they learn about the national movement and the skills and strategies involved with advancing the idea through their role.