Posted by Lori Nazareno on Thursday, 11/06/2014
Looking for resources about teacher-led or teacher-powered schools?
Check out www.teacherpowered.org!
“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”
Are you one of those teachers who has said, “I want to start a teacher-powered school” or had a conversation with your colleagues about what you would do if you were in charge?
If the answer was "yes" to either question, it is time get started.
As traditionalists and reformers battle it out, space is being created for teachers like you - that’s right, I said YOU – to step up and be the designers of a new type of school. Never has the time been more perfect, or the resources more abundant, for you to start your journey to creating a teacher-powered school!
Think it can’t be done? Think you can’t do it?
There are currently over 60 teacher-powered schools across this country, and more being designed every day.
If they can do it, so can you!
Step 1 - Know that all things are possible
“You are never given a dream without simultaneously being
given the ability to make it come true.”
- Cynthia James
I have written before about believing that something is possible as the first step to making it manifest in your life. The degrees to which you know, believe, and are willing to commit to making something happen, will determine whether or not something will manifest in your experience. And – you cannot worry about what other people think, especially the naysayers.
There was a time when everybody thought flying machines, manned space flight, and, in some cases, teacher-powered schools were all silly ideas. Yet, people have persevered and made these things into reality. They did not possess any supernatural powers or abilities. They were people just like you who were able to envision a future very different from their current reality, believed that it was possible, and were willing to commit to doing the work required to make it a reality.
Step 2 - Connect with others who have shared interests.
There is a growing community of teachers who have either started teacher-powered schools or are in the process of doing so. Connecting with like-minded people provides an opportunity for you to learn from each other, support each other’s efforts, and create synergy with each other and around the concept.
So, where do I find these people?
As luck would have it, I now EXACTLY the right place – the Teacher-Powered Schools Lab in the CTQ Collaboratory! (Signing up is FREE and takes 3 minutes.) In the Teacher-Powered Schools Lab, you can find people like:
- Kim Worth, whose entire blog is dedicated to documenting her journey to creating a teacher-powered school.
- Delonna Halliday, who has submitted her proposal for her school in Tacoma and is actively engaged in getting it up and running.
- Cheryl Suliteanu, who is in the early stages of trying to find a way to make a teacher-powered school possible in her district.
And, there are many, many others with whom I have spoken who want to begin this journey (you all know who you are), and would LOVE to connect with you.
Not only should you connect with teachers in other locales that are doing this work, you should also connect with teacher leaders in your area. Create a team of like-minded individuals who can join you on this journey. A key ingredient to the success of teacher-powered schools is collaboration. Create a team and begin the journey!
Step 3 – Explore available tools and resources
Many of those who started teacher-powered schools were completely disconnected from others who had previously done the work. Historically, there have been no means by which teachers interested in designing a teacher-powered school could connect and learn from each other’s experiences.
That has all changed! There are now several resources that you and your colleagues can access to get started:
Steps to Creating a Teacher-Powered School: Released in the spring of 2014, Steps to Creating a Teacher-Powered School is a compilation of over 200 resources that your team can use to walk through the process to create your school. Teacher teams can learn more about the five stages for designing and maintaining a teacher-powered school--with tips and lessons learned from teams who have already gone through the journey.
Discussion Guides for Creating a Teacher-Powered School: Lessons from the Pioneers: This recently released set of discussion guides will get your team started designing your own teacher-powered school. These guides were created by the pioneers from nine teacher-powered schools and include information about how they do things at their schools, tips for your team as you begin designing your school, and discussion questions for your team to use to guide your work.
It is time to take those first three steps. It is time to begin translating that dream into a reality. What are you waiting for?