Educators in Philadelphia are taking the reins when it comes to transforming their profession. Calling themselves “teacherpreneurs,” their goal is promoting teacher leadership within schools.
“We’re coming up with ways to transform our profession, and we’re not just waiting for people to do it for us,” said Samuel Reed III, literary teacher at Beeber Middle School in West Philadelphia, according to NBC10. “We’re doing this collectively, together.”
The group is funded by a $75,000 grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, managed in partnership with the Philadelphia School District and the Philadelphia Education Fund. The teacherpreneurs aim to foster “teacher, student and community voice in Philadelphia public schools,” said the article.
Other networking groups, such as the Teacher Action Group, The Caucus of Working Educators, Teachers Lead Philly, Philadelphia Writing Project, Philly CORE and PhilaSoup have joined in spreading the word.
Darren Spielman, president and CEO of the Ed Fund, told NBC10 that classrooms have become hubs for innovation, while teacher satisfaction has skyrocketed.
“If you can bring teachers together, give them the opportunity to collaborate and network, you can accomplish a lot of positive stuff,” he said.
As reported by NBC10, Jessie Gluck, English teacher at Mastery Charter’s Mann Elementary School, said the new group is coming at the perfect time.
“Teaching can be an isolating and draining profession,” she explained. “Especially in times of fiscal turmoil. But, when you go to a meeting like this, and you talk to really hopeful people, it really recharges you and reignites your spark. Makes you sure that there are people who are on the same mission, other people still fighting the same fight as you.”
The term “teacherpreneur” was first used by Center for Teaching Quality to denote cutting-edge teacher leadership in the new millennium. The book Teaching 2030, co-authored by 12 teacher-leaders and CTQ founder Barnett Berry, offers a rationale for the term.
Read more about the topic in Berry, Byrd and Wieder’s book Teacher Preneurs: Innovative Teachers Who Lead But Don’t Leave.
Typically, a teacherpreneur remains active and grounded in the classroom while simultaneously having release time to engage in additional leadership roles within the school, district or state. For example, a teacher may be in the classroom half the day and spend the other half mentoring new educators, partnering with local unions and organizations, or developing curriculum resources.
Article by Kassondra Granata, EducationWorld Contributor
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