CTA Supporting Professional Capital: Part 2
Last week, InterACT ran a guest blog post by Chris Miraglia, introducing the CTA Teacher Leader Cohort and describing his work in that project. Today, ACT member Chandra Goodnough shares her perspective on the same project. Chandra has just completed her 15th year of teaching, and was one of five district Teachers of the Year for 2012-2013. She currently teaches Psychology and Sociology to juniors and seniors at Eastlake High School in the Sweetwater Union High School District.
Chris and I were a part of an amazing group of teachers in Region 4 working with CTA staffer Jane Robb on projects of our choice, t0 support teaching and learning. We would meet monthly, sometimes in person and sometimes through Zoom computer conferencing, to collaborate and encourage each person’s work. I loved the support and the validation that we, the teachers, know what our needs are in the classroom and the district based on our experience. The purpose of the cohort is for us to use that experience to help improve teaching and learning.
The book we studied, Professional Capital (Hargreaves and Fullan) validates the need for teachers to empower themselves and lead the change in the direction that is needed. (I loved the book and read it twice. It was also featured at the 2014 Teaching and Learning Conference). An additional benefit for me in working with Region 4 was seeing the diversity in how different districts operate and seeing their approach. I am not sure why that had such an impact on me but it left a huge impression on me how districts vary in their approaches to teaching and learning. So, from July to April we worked on our projects and any obstacles that might impede our success. We learned a lot from each other, but mostly, the meetings added energy to our journey. It hasn’t even been a month since we completed the first phase of our projects and I already miss our meetings. My project worked on increasing communication between all stakeholders within a school system’s community. It started with a website to increase awareness on district issues, and has led to a community conversation of 168 people discussing what a healthy school district looks like, including the four mayors from the communities our district services.
The next cohort of CTA Teacher Leaders was just selected, but I definitely recommend that teachers keep their eyes open for the next opportunity to apply.