We are always looking for ways to multiply the impact of what we are doing in schools….we seek the trifecta! Well, this year 32 districts (69 buildings) in Michigan achieved this through Title II Grants awarded to them from MDE to partner with IEE.
Distributed Leadership Development
Building leaders choose one of two primary paths depending upon on their individual needs. Over 50 buildings chose to focus on developing strong Distributed Leadership Teams. For these schools, the trifecta was: 1. Networking with other schools to learn from and with other leadership teams; 2. Coaching in their buildings from experienced educational leaders; and 3. Seminars that provided leadership teams across the state time to learn, process and implement new practices to address their own specific needs.
Some leaders expressed excitement about hearing of a different schedule in another district and implementing it in their own school to allow time for collaboration. While others, as a result of reviewing their data, chose to focus on improving their school culture by beginning with the adults in the building. And many Leaders were appreciative of the opportunity to tailor their work to their own specific building needs.
One educational leader summed it up this way, “For me, the DLD grant emerged as one tool to help educators work more efficiently.”
Starting Off Strong
Another group of schools chose to partner with IEE to focus on newer, less-experienced teachers. The SOS grant provided buildings with another trifecta through: 1. Professional Learning sessions that were focused on their specific needs and facilitated onsite according to their own school calendar; 2. Onsite Coaching from experienced classroom teachers who helped their teachers think through planning effective lessons and reflect on their practice; and 3. Modeling of effective strategies and practices in classrooms. Onsite coaches modeled best practices in mentees classrooms.
Some buildings also developed mentoring programs to encourage peer learning walks and the use of Cognitive Coaching to support one another to become self-directed learners. Participants were quick to note the effectiveness of supporting their teachers with high-quality professional development and coaching.
The Trifecta: Leaders won! Teachers won! Students Won!