Leading a Learning Community
Alberta’s Leadership Quality Standard outlines that “A leader nurtures and sustains a culture that supports evidence-informed teaching and learning. ”
I continue to develop my Leading a Learning Community by:
What others say:
From cards and notes:
It excites me to be part of a larger learning community that I can support and encourage growth in others and that they support and encourage growth in me.
I truly value the strengths of my team. We are so fortunate to be able to work in collaborative teams to help make the best decisions for our teaching and for our students. I choose colleagues to co-present with me when ever possible to highlight their strengths and to build our leadership around different topics. I have always believed you start with a small group and work hard together to experience success and with recognition and sharing of successes others will follow. My most recent goal was to bring people along with the use of FreshGrade as a portfolio and report card tool. I started with me and a few other staff that appreciated leaving the 3-ring binder at the store and choosing technology to facilitate the storing and sharing of the great things our students were learning. With each year, we had the opportunity to start small and expand together as a team, always encouraging and inviting others to join. We would try, collaborate, revamp and try again. Slowing building our team and sharing knowledge and celebrations with the staff as we shared our journey. Once the team grows between 5 to 10 people then it is time to invite the whole staff to give it a try. The most important part is that now I have a team of experts and I am not sailing a loan ship. We try together, in-service together and learn to fix together. We are now on the third year of our whole staff journey and we have reached our goal of only one printed report card made in FreshGrade and parents receiving feedback about how their child is doing with their learning outcomes on a weekly to monthly basis. Parents are interacting with their children in this environment and taking suggestions from teachers of how they can support at home. Together we succeed!
One of my biggest transformations in my own teaching and learning as well as my schools was the introductions of the Daily 5 structure. I had spent 8 years training teachers and educational assistants to understand the process of how children learn to read and training them in a tutoring program that I co-developed called Building Readers. This program supported hundreds of children over the years, the biggest struggle at the time was how can we work this into the regular classroom and not just in pull out settings. This is when I went to a PD event and learned about the Daily 5 structure. This was the answer to freeing up time to confer with students and build their skills in small group or one on one. Thus, the process of finding a few liked minded individuals to explore this structure in our classrooms and try, change and try again until we can make it work. After a couple years of building this structure in my classroom I was fortunate enough to move schools. This also gave me the opportunity to find a few new like minded individuals to carry on this journey with me. With our progress and the growth we were seeing in students and with the buy in from admin we were able to take this program to a school wide program. We took this structure and previous learning that our school had done around reading comprehension strategies to develop a common structure and vocabulary to move students forward in reading. As a school team we committed to the Daily 5 structure and the Daily CAFE. Over the past 9 years we have seen the difference in our students reading skills. Our yearly assessments clear show that if we can have the student in our school for the first 3 to 4 years of their education we have very high success rate of them becoming confident, successful readers.