A Systems Approach to Improvement

Implementation of any school improvement effort brings inherent challenges and opportunities. To successfully lead an initiative from the exploration phase to sustained implementation, several key steps are necessary (Fixsen et al., 2005). The graphic below illustrates an interactive system of practices designed to support change, build trust, and examine outcomes. Although each practice is interactive and ongoing, an order is suggested to support fidelity.

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Teacher Leadership in Action

You don’t need to be in education long to hear a lot of domain specific jargon. One such term is teacher leadership. We can all assume what that is or why it’s important, but I maintain that it’s often misused or misunderstood as a term.

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The type of action required by this practice goes beyond surface level involvement on building committees. When fostered and implemented correctly teacher leadership can be transformational for a school community. Over the past five years our school has aligned our building committees to better reflect our focus as a professional learning community. This year our school has a number of teams carefully designed to support our school-wide initiatives such as PLCs, PBIS, RtI, bully prevention, school climate, and instructional technology. There were multiple examples of teacher leadership at our school on Wednesday beginning with the use of planning time.

Our Focus Determines Impact

Spring is always such a busy time of the school year. Field trips, state assessments, end of year celebrations. You know the routine. When I read a few tweets about Michael Fullan’s book The Principal, I was intrigued and knew it needed to move up on my reading list. The learning and reflection that followed didn’t disappoint.

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