Angelia Fleming: A reflection on teacher-led design teams

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 23, 2018

By Angelia Fleming

Rowan-Salisbury Schools

Editor’s note: This column is part of a series written by Rowan-Salisbury Schools employees about the renewal process that will appear each Thursday in the Education section.

The air was permeated with an electric charge as 300 teachers and staff members waited to hear first-hand about Rowan-Salisbury Schools’ renewal plan.

These are teachers who freely gave up their last day of summer vacation because they want to be involved in our district’s education plan. The interest was so great that the meeting location had to be changed to Life Church from Wallace Educational Forum.

We were not disappointed. As Superintendent Lynn Moody and other district leaders presented the framework for the teacher-led design teams, teachers were given time to voice questions and concerns.

We also shared our excitement. We then formed collaborative groups for our schools to discuss issues such as school calendars, School Improvement Teams, testing and renewal teachers. Individuals got to share their opinions with everyone.

The overall theme was that teachers are excited about playing an active role in designing our education vision. No longer are the decisions regarding our schools in Rowan County to be decided by faraway politicians, but instead decisions will be made by those on the front lines, by those who know students best: teachers.

We will truly be able to personalize and maximize learning for our students.

I can’t wait to tell my kids on the first day of school. They will understand that fighting for our students and their education by always standing in their corner and speaking out for them has been rewarded. They will see the value of having a voice and not being afraid to speak out.

Our students will also discover that our school system is willing to step into an unchartered path. No prior path exists. We are the trailblazers.

Yes, we will make mistakes, but we will learn from them. Through collaboration and innovation, and as Moody said, “dreaming big,” we will set the trail for our future education. Other districts will follow our lead.

I fully realize and appreciate the richness of this opportunity for our teachers, but even more far-reaching is the treasure trove available for our students. We will be challenging our students to be actively involved in setting the future of their education.

Just think of the leaders and innovators we will be helping to develop.

Angelia Fleming is an AIG teacher at North Rowan Middle School. She is also on the school’s teacher-led design team.