Principal Leadership - April 2015 - (Page 49)
to increase and maintain student
interest. Another teacher began to
realize that many of her African
American and Hispanic students
were falling behind their peers and
began to reflect on her own practices
related to the support and careful
monitoring of African American and
Hispanic students. Another teacher
mentioned "it was beneficial to be
forced to consider and reflect on data
in a more formal way than I would
on my own."
To ensure the integrity of TLCs,
a cycle of continuous collaboration
and inquiry is essential. Soliciting
teacher feedback on the TLC process
is critical to teacher commitment.
How can we make this process
more purposeful and effective so
that teachers see the value and are,
therefore, actively engaged in open
and honest dialogue? How can
teachers begin to see the connection
between the data and student
To seek clear answers to these
questions and more, a survey was
given to all staff during a regularly
scheduled department meeting.
The questions were geared toward
the effectiveness of the process
and suggestions for improvement.
Many responses were positive, and
teachers enjoyed the opportunity
to collaborate with administration
and their department chairs
to address concerns, share best
practices, and elicit suggestions
for interventions designed to
impact student achievement. They
were able to reflect honestly on
their practices and began to see
connections. However, there were
some teachers who did not feel
it necessary for administration
to co-facilitate, believing that
TLCs should be conducted as
a department only without the
involvement of administration.
It was further suggested that we
involve students, brainstorm ideas on
schoolwide interventions to motivate
unmotivated students, examine
trends and patterns departmentally,
collaborate with job-alike colleagues
on similar patterns of inquiry, allow
more time, and have easier access to
analyze data prior to the TLCs.
The information gleaned from
the surveys will help reshape the
tenets of TLCs and improve the
effective alignment of teachers'
professional growth. Moreover, the
shared decision making encourages a
stronger commitment from teachers
who would otherwise perhaps be
indifferent to this process. PL
■ Dufour, R., & Eaker, R. (1998).
Professional learning communities
at work: Best practices for enhancing
student achievement. Bloomingdale, IN:
National Educational Service.
■ Gay, G. (2000). Culturally responsive
teaching: Theory, research, & practice.
New York, NY: Teachers College Press.
■ Kuykendall, C. (1991). From rage to
hope: Strategies for reclaiming black and
Hispanic students. Bloomington, ID:
National Educational Service
■ Reeves, D. (2004). Accountability for
learning: How teachers and school leaders
can take charge. Alexandria, VA: ASCD
■ Singleton, G., & Linton, C. (2006).
Courageous conversations about race: A
field guide for achieving equity in schools.
Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press
filmed over the course of a year,
is a powerful documentary that
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Distributed by the U.S. State
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This low price made possible by a
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Dr. Tiffany N. Awkard (tiffany_n_awkard@
mcpsmd.org) has been a school-based
administrator with Montgomery County
Public Schools for the last 10 years and was
a previous staff development teacher. In
addition, she serves as an adjunct professor
for the Graduate School of Education at
Southern New Hampshire University and
Argosy University, and authored a course
titled "Learning Theories and Instruction,"
which focuses on current trends in education
and how to effectively apply these theoretical
frameworks to classroom practice.
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For the Learning Guide that illustrates five key practices
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A Nomadic Pictures production -www.nomadicpix.com
| Principal Leadership 49 AM
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Principal Leadership - April 2015
From the Editor
Cases in Point
Healthy Schools, Healthy Students
Advocates for Acceptance
Creating a Socially Inclusive School
Out of the Darkness: Making Student Mental Health a Priority
How Do You Evaluate Leadership?
The Common Core and School Improvement
Discussion Guide: The Common Core and School Improvement
Leading in Turbulent Times
Need a Little TLC?
The Principal Story by Nomadic Pictures
Growing Your STEMs
Breaking Ranks in Practice
Principal Leadership - April 2015