Through its existing Teacher-Led Professional Learning (TLPL) series, Teach Plus is elevating teacher leadership and teacher-led collaborative learning focused on Common Core State Standards (CCSS)-aligned instruction. Across the two-year Teacher Practice Networks grant, Teach Plus will recruit and develop 50 teacher leaders (TLs) (25 TLs per year) to guide district-based teacher teams in improving CCSS-aligned K–12 classroom instruction. TLs participate in in-person and virtual sessions to develop and hone leadership skills focused on planning professional learning, facilitating adult learners, and becoming purpose- and data-based instructional leaders. For six months, each TL then leads a cohort of teachers in a series of face-to-face and virtual professional learning sessions focused on supporting CCSS-aligned instruction.
Strategies for Supporting Teacher Leaders to Advance Common Core
Network Support for Teacher Leaders
Teach Plus leverages its established network and expertise to recruit, select, train, and coach teacher leaders to lead the TLPL teacher-to-teacher learning. Teach Plus identifies TLPL candidates via existing partnerships with districts, and selects teacher leaders through a rigorous application and interview process based on their experience in CCSS-aligned instructional practices and adult facilitation skills.
Once selected, TLs participate in 14 hours of in-person training on leadership skills and dispositions, as well as on instructional strategies and tools for deepening teachers’ proficiency in CCSS-aligned practices. Teach Plus instructional coaches further support TLs with ongoing guidance for leading professional learning sessions with their teacher cohorts through a variety of tools, including 1:1 virtual coaching to address team challenges, written feedback on agendas prior to a cohort meeting, and feedback on video-recorded professional learning sessions. Additionally, TLs participate in two virtual meetings with other TLs across the three regions for leadership professional development and collaboration.
Teacher Leaders Working with Teachers
Teach Plus TLs each lead a district-based team of 12–15 teachers in collaborative learning sessions to improve CCSS-aligned instructional practices over the course of six months. TLs lead six three-hour professional learning sessions focused on a cycle of learning that includes using a collaborative approach to look at student work, identifying implementation gaps, learning new CCSS-aligned instructional strategies and resources, planning new lessons, testing lessons against the CCSS-aligned EQuIP rubric, and finalizing a plan for implementation.
In between face-to-face sessions, TLs connect with their teacher cohort through online check-ins, virtual peer observations, and online conversations.
Partnerships with Local Education Agencies
Teach Plus’s recruitment of a diverse set of teacher leaders in three regions is possible because of its existing partnerships with schools and districts in Los Angeles Unified School District, California; Boston Public Schools and UMass Boston, Massachusetts; and Shelby County Schools in Memphis, Tennessee. These partners also play a critical role in recruiting the teacher cohorts participating in the sessions led by Teach Plus teacher leaders.
District partners identify priority areas of instructional focus in CCSS implementation and work closely with Teach Plus to plan for CCSS-aligned instruction to support their regional needs.
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Jason Carpp, Director of Development