professornana (professornana) wrote,

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A recent post to Facebook from Ed Week advertised a leadership conference where district leaders will be recognized: Recognizing Bold, Innovative
District Leadership

LEADERS TO LEARN FROM 2014 is the can’t-miss education leadership event of the year, where you’ll sit peer-to-peer with innovative education professionals as they’re recognized for bringing positive change to their districts.

Join superintendents, policymakers, consultants, and other education thought-leaders for a powerful celebration of successes and innovations from districts across the country. Expand your network of high-achieving colleagues and get an inside look at how district administrators are developing bold new strategies to overcome complex challenges.

What is missing from this celebration? TEACHERS. This is another example of the top down approach Yes, I recognize that leadership is important. But I also realize leadership comes from all stakeholders including teachers and, elements often missing from the reformers' messaging, parents and students. In one way this perfectly encapsulates the innate problem with CCSS and RttT: they are top down. Standards were written without the input of teachers (a few of whom were permitted to comment but not change anything, than you very much); PD is being largely driven by those outside of the classrooms. The only time teachers seem to be an essential component is when it comes to assessments. Then, teachers are squarely responsible for students' test scores (was it not interesting, BTW, that the modest NAEP gains were claimed by administrators? I heard nothing about what a great job teachers themselves were doing. Yet if there is blame to be assigned, teachers are the scapegoat consistently).

Teachers are on the front lines, soldiers not generals. They take the flak; they manage the plans made by others and do the best they can with the equipment they are given, But teachers lead the charge each and every day. As I read my Twitter and Facebook feeds I see, time and again, teachers excited about the day in front of them. Colby Sharp and John Schu talk about their Mock Caldecott discussions. Katherine Sokolowski reflects on a lesson she learned from some of her students and how they tackled a reading. Cindy Minnich writes about she and her son curling up pre-dawn to finish a chapter in a book they are reading together. Paul Hankins posts photos of his students' work offline that is mirroring online work. And Ed Spicer (you need to follow him on Facebook) shows us his class librarian and class artist and class writer and how they are teaching the class and him about books and reading and passion for both.

So, today I celebrate the leadership I see as millions of teachers head off to classrooms across the country to reach out to their students, to ignite a spark or fan a flame. I celebrate teachers, the real leaders.
Tags: leadership, top down
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