As I am no longer a President of our Association, I will not be giving a speech to our staff this August, but that doesn’t mean I can share some of what I would have said if I was still in that role. 🙂
Fellow Members and Distinguished Guests:
As you all know, our district’s TLC grant was one the 39 approved by the Iowa DOE in the Spring of 2014. This approval would not have happened if not for the hard work of many dedicated teachers, administrators, and parents in our district. Last Fall, the much more important work of implementing our model began. As we continue this new journey together, we must remain mindful of why we are engaging in this work in the first place: our students.
Our TLC model and funding continues to provides us with many new and unique opportunities and resources we did not have at our disposal as a district prior to the Fall of 2014. Perhaps the most valuable resource of all is the additional time we have to collaborate with one another, get into the classrooms of our colleagues, and collect data to inform our instruction. We will continue to share our high-yield instructional strategies with one another, learn a great deal from one another, and experience both successes and challenges that we will navigate through together. Through all of this, our students will learn more effectively.
We must also be mindful that in Iowa teachers have been given a very unique opportunity to lead our schools in ways that haven’t been done before, at least not as part of a statewide initative. Iowa is leading the way in the conversation around school redesign and teacher-powered schools. Our work must be successful. We must show growth, both in our students and within ourselves. If we can do the hard work neccessary to make our model successful, other states are likley to adopt similar models and before we know it, there will then be a national movement that rethinks K12 education and that embraces the importance and neccessity for teachers to take more ownership over what is going on in our classrooms.
We know what our students need to be successful. We are in the classrooms working with students directly every day. We know their individual needs. We know how they learn. We need to own that. We need to use that to help our students be more successful.
Let’s embrace this opportunity to grow as professionals, learn from one another, and to help our students. Let’s lead the change we have wanted to see in the world of education!