This post originally appeared on the Mentoring Action website at http://carolpelletierradford.com.
I’ve heard countless lectures and professional development presentations over the last two-plus decades, but frankly I recall few specifics. A soundbite from Dr. Ed Dunkelblau’s presentation at the New Teacher Center’s Symposium 2014, however, has stuck with me and continues to guide my thinking and spur me to action. Dunkelblau, the founder of The Institute for Emotionally Intelligent Learning, said, “social-emotional learning isn't something else on the plate. It is the plate.”
SEL may seem like one of the latest trends or buzzwords in education but its core competencies are what we’ve known for years are essential for success in any arena. Any teacher knows that real growth can’t happen when a student doesn’t have the ability to make good decisions, manage behavior, cope with stressors nor develop positive relationships. How can teachers grow and be effective if their own social-emotional competencies are weak?
Since the logic follows that good classroom teaching practices are good mentoring practices, it is essential that mentors support novice teachers in their emotional and professional growth so that they can, in turn, impact student success. In the 2nd Editions of Mentoring in Action and First Years Matter, Dr. Radford has woven the concept of mindfulness into the fabric of the book. Mindfulness is not its own chapter. It is treated as the “plate” in Dunkelblau’s analogy. No real professional growth can be sustained without self-awareness and emotional well-being at its foundation. According to mindfulness.org, “Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us.” By making mindfulness a foundational practice in her books, Radford rightly acknowledges that teachers are under a tremendous amount of stress. It’s how we manage our stress that counts.
In the companion texts,Mentoring in Action and First Years Matter, mindfulness is included as part of the intentional mentoring curriculum via:
Being intentional in our practices is exactly what my friend, Ellyn Metcalf, founder of Total Teacher Project, encourages educators to do. The focus is on personal professional development at this summer’s Total Teacher Project’s Teacher Leadership Summit: Reflect, Recharge, Renew. Attendees will be analyzing their leadership styles and developing personal practices to enhance their professional growth. Breakout sessions include:
I’m fortunate to have Metcalf and Radford as mentors, both of whom have helped me understand that effective leadership in and out of the classroom doesn’t come from a title but from behaviors that stem from a clear mind with a clear purpose.
Check out the TTP website for more details about and link to register for the Teacher Leadership Summit 2017: http://www.totalteacherproject.com/.
Registration begins April 15.
Janet Fitzgerald is an educator in Seekonk, Massachusetts, a board member of the Total Teacher Project, and a member of the 20/20 Vision Mentoring in Action Leadership Academy.
This post originally appeared on Homeroom, the official blog of the U.S. Department of Education
This year during Teacher Appreciation Week, I would like to express my gratitude for several organizations that appreciate teachers who want to grow as professionals while remaining in the classroom. In recent years, I found that my greatest passion was to elevate our profession by focusing on the classroom teacher as a leader. This was a natural fit for me since I served for over 20 years in the U.S. Coast Guard, where I developed as a leader with formal leadership training. Much of my success as a teacher has been grounded in the leadership competencies I learned during my military career. I wanted to create similar leadership development opportunities for my colleagues.
So, how does a middle school science teacher from a small district in Massachusetts follow her passion to create leadership development opportunities for teachers? She takes advantages of national level leadership opportunities!
In May 2013, I was fortunate to be accepted to the NEA/Teach Plus Future of the ProfessionFellowship. I felt incredibly connected to these high-energy teachers who were beyond enthusiastic about elevating our profession. The experience introduced me to Google Docs, Google hangouts, webinars, Twitter and Linked-In. All of these activities helped me to shape a vision for how I might deliver leadership training to classroom teachers, but I was unsure of the steps and support I would need to create and implement this type of training opportunity.
Looking for more guidance, I attended the Boston Teach to Lead Summit in February of 2015. Shortly after returning, our team established The Total Teacher Project, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit whose purpose is to host events that connect leadership development experts to ambitious and talented teachers. We recruited parents and students to support our mission and we received help from Teach to Lead support organizations. We’re now in the final stages of planning a Teacher Leadership Summit this summer for 120 teachers in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut. Attendees will be empowered by interactive presentations by experts in the field of leadership. Teachers will recognize their value as critical leaders in society and develop an awareness of key leadership behaviors that can inspire students and influence learning outcomes.
I want to recognize the NEA, Teach Plus and the Teaching Ambassador Fellows at Teach to Lead. The leaders in these organizations, many of whom are or have been teachers, have done an outstanding job showing appreciation to teachers with a passion to transform education while remaining in the classroom.
Ellyn Metcalf is a 6th grade science teacher at the Dr. Kevin M. Hurley Middle School in Seekonk, Massachusetts. She is the founder of the Total Teacher Project (TTP), a nonprofit organization that believes leadership qualities should be developed and cultivated in teachers throughout their careers just as other professions grow their top performers. For more information or to register for this summer’s Teacher Leadership Summit visit TTP’s website atwww.totalteacherproject.com. Continue the conversation on Twitter @TotalTeacherNE.