- Want to know what motivates and inspires this year’s award-winning teachers? In a new podcast series created by NWEA, 2017 state Teachers of the Year talk about topics such as teaching English learners, overcoming poverty and violence, and viewing STEM as an equity issue.
- The 45-part series, which began this week, is the second season of NWEA’s “Leading from the Classroom,” with new episodes appearing twice a week through the end of January.
- NWEA is a partner of the National Teacher of the Year program, run by the Council of Chief State School Officers, and current teachers featured on TeacherPodcasts.org are from Alabama, Colorado, Indiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota and the Department of Defense.
Hearing personal stories from dedicated educators can remind teachers and administrators why they come to work every day and can perhaps inspire school leaders to provide opportunities for the teachers in their schools to share their voices.
In recent years, opportunities have increased for teachers to share their perspectives, to influence policy, and to take leadership positions without leaving the classroom. For example, Teach Plus, now in 12 states, offers a fellowship program focusing on how teachers can expand their influence, and the Center for Teaching Quality (CTQ), based in North Carolina, has cohorts of “teacherpreneurs” who continue to teach but also work on “system-level” solutions in their districts. In a report last year, Barnett Berry, CTQ’s founder and CEO, named seven conditions important for supporting teacher leaders, including a vision and strategy, administrators willing to share power, opportunities for “authentic collaboration” and an organization that allows for “flattening bureaucracies.”