Why I Left

After a decade of working in a school district, TU member Carinna Tarvin made the difficult decision to pursue teaching work elsewhere. Recently, an article in a national publication about her former district led her to give voice to hers and others' experiences: "The problem is that by picking one distinct tree in the middle of an unruly forest of reasons, the district leadership has been able to shape the narrative."

Click the title to read Carinna's perspective on the circumstances surrounding her leaving. And it wasn't because of the students

Read More

Making School Wide Change: Electronic Walk Through

TU Director of Communications Mary Moser provides a detailed starting point for creating and utilizing a digital classroom observation tool in order to answer the question "How do you make systematic change without basing your work on vague notions and “we think” statements?" Mary has guidance on anything from formulating questions to utilizing Forms on Office 365 or Google Drive, depending on your district's platform. 

Click the title to learn how to implement this eye-opening data-gathering strategy.

Read More

The Teacher Leader I Want To Be

In her latest writing for CSTP's Stories from School blog, TU Director of Organizing Hope Teague-Bowling shares some reflections on leadership. Whether it be her personal experiences so far in her career or what she values in the leadership of others, Hope recognizes the potential impact of effective teacher leaders, ones who are "part of a team that shares power, distributes responsibilities and is accountable to one another."

Click the title to see how Hope tackles the questions "What kind of leader do you want to be? What kind of teacher leader are you trying to be?"

Read More

We Need to Talk: Crucial Conversations

TU Director at Large Rachel Wiley shares her approach to engaging students in meaningful dialogue, even when there's the potential for conflict -- "In my classroom, we talk about conflict as the most significant part of telling an effective story. [...] Alternatively, in life, we often avoid conflict at all costs. We hide our true feelings, we speak around issues, we end up venting to other people instead of bringing it to the attention of the person with whom we have the problem."

Click the title for Rachel's latest writing for the CORElaborate blog and get ideas for how to support your students' collaborative discussions.

Read More

Extra Eyes to See and Ears to Hear

TU Director of Organizing Hope Teague-Bowling's post for CSTP's Stories from School blog recounts her recent experience observing fellow teachers in her building in the role of an instructional coach. Sitting in on classrooms taught by both beginning educators and veterans, Hope got to "provide feedback to any teacher who wants an extra set of ears and eyes in their classroom". She also got the opportunity see her students in different environments.

Click the title to read about how this process works and how peer observations can inform staff beyond the data collected on a standard observation tool.

Read More