May 2017 Instructional Leadership Must-Reads

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May is chock-full of reasons to appreciate and commemorate those in our lives—Teacher Appreciation week, Mother's Day, and Memorial Day to name a few. We hope you also appreciate this great roundup of articles this month!

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Want to Improve a District? Let Teachers Collaborate, via Edutopia

A Connecticut superintendent, Mark Benigni, put teachers and students at the forefront of all decisions and transformed a district in the process.

"With a limited budget, Benigni started small—providing dedicated time each day for teachers to talk to each other, hoping to build trust that would support reinvention. But something bigger happened: Teachers started identifying and driving improvements across the district."

Mentors: the "Coach's Coach", via The LaunchPad

Ellen Eisenberg, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Institute for Instructional Coaching (PIIC), shares the importance of establishing positive relationships at all levels of instructional coaching. Just like teachers support students, and coaches support teachers and administrators, mentors support instructional coaches to ensure that their help is guided at all levels of an organization.

"Mentors are highly experienced educators, well-informed about content, pedagogy, professional development, and state standards. They are chosen for their expertise in working collaboratively with others and building trust with colleagues."

How Teachers Can Learn From One Another at Unconferences, Meet-ups, and Edcamps, via MindShift

Great insight from MindShift: teachers tend to open up more and share their opinions and thoughts at unconferences (meet-ups, lunch breaks, etc), rather than when required or when put on the spot.

"Unconferences lack a formal hierarchy and the space is open for different people to be heard and appreciated regardless of where they came from."

5 Tips for Preparing Teachers for New Classroom Tech Tools, via EdTech

Samuel Mormando, Director of Technology at Garnet Valley School District in Pennsylvania, shares 5 tips to help with the difficult task of preparing teachers for new classroom tech tools. 

"For districts to provide meaningful and relevant professional learning opportunities, they need to be conscious of how teachers learn best."

Strategies for Building Relationships as an Instructional Coach, via The LaunchPad

At TeachBoost, we love to ask instructional coaches what tools they include in their instructional coaching toolbox. Our guest blogger, Megan Ryder, was generous enough to share some of her acquired strategies for building relationships as an instructional coach.  

"As a new coach, I came to realize that not only is building relationships one of the most important steps to coaching and collaborating with teachers, but that it doesn’t happen overnight either."

Instructional Coaches Get Specialized Training, via Edweek

This particular article hones in on the importance of continuously developing instructional coaches and their practice — especially with targeted PD and collaborative peer groups.

"And while research has shown that coaching has benefits for all teachers, not just new or struggling ones, coaches must learn how to pitch their services, which are often not mandated by districts, and how to develop trusting relationships with the educators they work with."

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