Transformative Teachers: Teacher Leadership and Learning in a Connected World
For our first meeting we were asked to prepare the first three chapters of the book and to reflect on the following questions:
- What stories resonate with you? Do they remind you of any personal "transformational" moments in your professional life?
- What barriers have you faced in trying to be transformational in your practice?
- What do you think about when you hear the word "connectedness"? In what ways do you see "connectedness" affecting your practice
We began talking about the concept and practice of connected learning. As a group we decided that we would try to participate in the ConnectedLearningMOOC (clmooc.com) as a form of inquiry into action for our book group. This would allow us to connect with other educators across the country who are also committed to creating learning spaces where educators and students (educators as students and students as educators, too) can work collaboratively to enhance learning. This would also provide us with the opportunity to be makers as part of our book group. Since “making is the vehicle through which connections happen” (group member) this is important.
We were asked to consider the following – as a teacher, what is your role in the life of your students? What do you want for your students?” One member stated: “I wake up in the morning and think about how will I help my students have the agency to make change in their lives?” This change can be on an individual level, family level, school level, community level, or societal level. In fact, we recognized that the practice of making change at the individual level helps a person develop agency and understand how they can be part of larger efforts of social change.
We also wrestled with the meaning of social justice. We did not definitively define the concept, but one member thought that social justice is about “the things my students need in their lives” to improve their lives. They are the manifestation of human rights.
We cycled back to the theme of connection. We recognized that our students are connected in many ways to many people, often through social media. But are those deep and meaningful connections? We thought that we have to model various forms of connection for our students.
For our next meeting we will focus on Chapters 4 – 7 and the question – How can we collectively build agency to make change? To prepare, we should think about times we successfully designed or organized a transformative experience, and what were the factors that shaped this success? How does this relate to what we are reading? Also, what are our reactions to the reconceptualization of teacher leadership presented in Part 2?
We will meet on 31 July, 7:00 – 8:30 pm at the Unitarian Society of Germantown: 6511 Lincoln Drive, Philadelphia PA 19119 - Parking lot is in rear (to get to the lot, drive up Wayne Ave, and take a left on Johnson - go down half a block and look on your left for a road into the parking lot. This road/driveway is right before the train bridge).Room: Assembly Room
This blog post was written by Rosemary Barbera.