Writing for eSchool news, Youngstown City School District (OH) CEO Krish Mohip shares his strategies for unlocking his district’s potential by seeking out teacher leaders and empowering them through professional development.
The creation of a teacher fellow program allowed the district to seek out teachers most willing to incorporate change and to provide them with more intensive training though Discovery Education.
Though all teachers in the school district will be exposed to some degree of professional development, the teacher fellows are allowed a social media platform to promote the positive changes for the district.
While school administrators are usually better equipped to handle big picture items such as budgets, data and regulatory issues, it is teachers who spend every day in the trenches with students. While their goal is to educate students, they also are themselves learning what teaching methods are most effective in an ever-changing classroom.
This is why teachers have something valuable to offer when it comes to brainstorming ideas for ways to innovate classroom learning. Some school districts are finding that classroom teachers are offering some of the most creative and innovative solutions, while other districts are seeing real progress through teacher-powered school initiatives.
Teachers are the most fundamental resource of a school district. The challenge of administration is to hire good teachers, to support beginning teachers through strong mentorship programs, and to equip veteran teachers though professional development. However, the school district can reap rewards for these efforts by listening to what these veteran educators have to offer. By doing so, districts not only improve their own initiatives and find creative solutions to problems, they also can help prevent teacher burnout by giving them a voice. There is nothing more energizing than having someone value your opinion.