School: Mt Blue High School
District: Mount Blue Regional School District
Source: Hope Street Group
One of my most relevant teacher leadership experiences arose when I was awarded the Hope Street Group National Teacher Fellowship. I had been active locally and in other work with science education, but the Fellowship provided me with training and support as I approached my district administration about teacher evaluation. Being named a Fellow aligned nicely with a recently passed state law which said that teacher evaluation and growth plans would be developed locally. The system that had been in place for decades was not providing teachers with specific feedback for our professional development.
Upon returning from my initial Hope Street Group training, I approached my superintendent and assistant superintendent about working on the state mandated plan for teacher evaluation. They were very supportive of my taking an active role in developing that system, and I began working in close collaboration with the assistant superintendent. Together, we established and ran a committee that would research and make a final recommendation for a new teacher evaluation model.
As a co-facilitator of this committee, I was able to ensure that teacher voice was involved throughout this process, as teachers make up more than 70% of the committee. By involving teachers in the process, we were able to break down barriers and build understanding between administrators, teachers, and the community. We completed a pilot plan in June 2014 and will implement that pilot with approximately 20 teachers across the district during the 2014-2015 school year. This has become a starting point for teachers to participate in more meaningful ways throughout the district. For me personally, the discussion of the new evaluation model has transformed the way I teach and support my students.