Renewal: Teacher Empowerment

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 12, 2018

By Tina Masburn

Rowan-Salisbury Schools

Editor’s note: This is the first in a series of weekly articles detailing the planning process behind Rowan-Salisbury Schools becoming a renewal school district. 

In becoming a renewal school system, we are excited to begin the innovative work to do things we never thought possible in traditional public schools.

As we begin to plan ahead, the first step is to guide teachers through a well-developed strategic process that will allow them, the experts, to make decisions.  

The renewal school system process requires each school to develop a teacher-led design team. Each of these teams will be composed of six to 10 teachers.

A teacher-led design team is a collaborative group of teacher leaders and thinkers who will, with the school principal, design structures that support learning experiences. This team will activate and influence the learning community to embrace these structures as they guide students toward achieving their personal life goals.

Teachers have been afforded the opportunity to apply to participate on the teams. We are looking for applicants with the confidence to create a more desirable future by taking action with complex challenges.

Teacher-led design team members should have an understanding of the importance of learning experiences and their impact on student engagement. Team members must be committed to participation in the work of the school team and to the professional development involved in making this shift in thinking.

The term of involvement is one year, and team members must reapply annually.

Rowan-Salisbury Schools teachers have an opportunity to apply to serve on their school’s teacher-led design team. Applications have been emailed to teachers. Completed applications are due to principals by Aug. 6. 

Teachers are empowered to lead, design and create how instruction is offered to students. By giving more flexibility and autonomy, we can now dream and think differently. We are tasked to understand the connection between design and innovation within our school and community.

Tina Mashburn is executive director of middle grades education with Rowan-Salisbury Schools. Look for the next installment in the series in next Thursday’s Education section.