“We don’t believe our students can make the academic progress they need to be successful in college and career without investing in the continuous improvement of our teachers’ instructional practice.”
Dear DPS Community,
What happens when we ask some of our best teachers to coach and lead other teachers in their schools and extend their impact beyond a single classroom? Something amazing for our teachers and our kids:
“It is so powerful to have an effective educator observing me and giving me feedback. I immediately put suggestions she gives me into practice on a regular basis.”
“I believe that her coaching has made me grow as a teacher each and every day.”
“Without her as my coach, I would not be as effective as I am in my classroom. She is dedicated to helping me succeed as an educator and I truly value her opinion and presence in my classroom and in our school! She rocks!!!!”
Those are just a few of the comments we received recently when we asked our teachers to provide feedback about their leaders who, in the case of our Teacher Leadership & Collaboration model, happen to be other teachers in their schools serving in their roles as Team Leads.
This means teachers are receiving their primary coaching and support from their teacher Team Leads in their buildings — highly effective teachers who know their kids, understand their communities and are still teaching themselves for part of the day.
“She is still close to the classroom so her feedback is valuable and immediately implemented. She knows how to coach, and truly coaches to improve teachers’ practice.”
Click to watch a video about TLC.
We began implementing Teacher Leadership & Collaboration, or TLC for short, in 2013 and it has expanded to more schools every year. Next year, in 2017-18, TLC will be in nearly every district-run school. Schools craft the leadership model to fit their unique needs but, in general, a TLC school has four to six teacher leaders who each coach, support, lead and evaluate a team of teachers. We invest in TLC because we know that great teachers make a difference for our kids. We don’t believe our students can make the academic progress they need to be successful in college and career without investing in the continuous improvement of our teachers’ instructional practice.
Our focus on TLC has drawn national attention, with more than one in-depth study touting its effectiveness and the U.S. Department of Education selecting Denver to host a national Teach to Lead Summit. In March, teachers from Martin Luther King Jr., Early College will present the teacher leadership model in their school at the prestigious South by Southwest Festival in Austin, Texas.
But the best evidence so far that TLC is working comes from our own teachers. This year, 89% of teachers who work in our TLC schools rated their teacher leaders as effective or very effective leaders. More of their comments:
“She helps me plan strategically to make sure I am thinking about how to push students to the next level. She is a great listener and always gives me feedback that helps me become better.”
“I have never had such meaningful feedback.”
“I am a better teacher because of her leadership.”
Read the full edition of Our DPS Weekly: When Our Teachers Lead, Our Kids Win