Sustainability: Out-Live Out-Last Out-Reach
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This message is in reply to:
Welcome to the Discussion - Joni Falk

Posted by: Tina Warren
Posted on: May 03, 2002 at 9:50 AM
We currently have a program called TAPESTRIES which is a NSF funded program in the Toledo Public Schools and Springfield School systems. It is a program that educates the teachers, supports the teachers in the classroom, promotes professional development and systemic change. Currently we have 15 of us that are support teachers. We are classroom teachers on special assignment released from the classroom for two years. (Some have been released twice.) We are assigned several school buildings and attend to their science needs. We deal with professional development through research lessons, we help with ideas for lessons taught in the classroom, we help with materials management, we help by modeling good teaching strategies, we help with raising the levels of questioning they use within the classroom, etc. So you see we do many things that prove and promote good teaching practices in the district. This program has been well received by the teachers who have participated. The problem is only about 1/3 of the teachers expected to take this class took it. It says a lot for what the district expects. Emphasis is not on good teaching practices, more on proficiency scores so teachers are being coerced into thinking that teaching only math and reading will increase scores. There is no change in teaching styles or mindsets that teach the same way all the time. Next year, there will only be seven support teachers. There will be less opportunity to serve other people not in the program and those in the program will have limited access to their support teachers. It seems when we should have made room for more teacher leaders, support teachers in this case, they went with less. Sometimes money should not lead decisions when we can get those collaboration and good teaching practices to the forefront. It's been hard at times convincing teachers that within their science lessons they are teaching math, reading, incorporating language arts. They are so used to math at 10:00, reading at 11:00. Systemic change? What a tough path to build.

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