Springing from Teacher Leadership Summits, Leadership Labs are more intimate daylong meetings intended to increase or expand the progress of a single Teach to Lead team. The collaboration enables all stakeholders to share best practices, identify challenges and ultimately create actionable commitments.
Leadership Labs are locally conducted meetings developed in collaboration with particular Teach to Lead Summit idea teams to bring together key stakeholders that can assist in building, increasing, or expanding the progress of their action plans by:
- Advancing the progress of action plans submitted by participants at Teach to Lead Summits;
- Developing examples of innovative teacher led solutions in schools and districts for other teacher leaders and stakeholders to replicate, scale, and support;
- Spurring connections and engagement between teachers, local stakeholders, and supporter organizations; and
- Supporting places where teacher leadership has been systematized in schools, districts, and states.
Leadership Lab Teams are selected by teachers who have held their own Leadership Labs based on the potential significance of impact of the team’s project; their progress in implementing their Logic Model since the Teach to Lead Summit, and the potential benefit to the team’s success in building greater stakeholder support.
Thus far, Teach to Lead has led over Leadership Labs in collaboration with over 25 Teach to Lead Project Teams in rural, suburban and urban communities across the country for projects impacting students at a school, district-wide or state-wide level.
In April 2015, for example, Teach to Lead worked with the The WoLakota Project in Mission, SD. A teacher mentoring and cultural understanding project, WoLakota worked to address high teacher loss after only one year and low student achievement in tribal and public schools serving Native American communities. After a positive two-year pilot, WoLakota hopes to reach over 40,000 students statewide and serve as a model for other states. At their leadership lab a range of stakeholders, including the Secretary at the SD Secretary of Education, set clear targets to expand classroom-based leadership roles and career pathways for teacher leaders statewide, providing up to 375 retained teachers in high-needs schools over five years.
In June 2016, a team piloting the Teacher Academy Design Studio brought together 15 principals and 70 teacher leaders from their 81 schools to design a new professional learning plan for the district. Teachers worked in breakout groups to provide input and action steps on everything from building trust and a collaborative culture, to content of various levels of learning. Teach to Lead Supporting Organization, TNTP, provided two webinars on teacher leadership structures and helped facilitate conversations during the Leadership Lab.