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School & District Management Letter to the Editor

Teacher-Led Schools Offer Innovative Approach

May 09, 2017 1 min read
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To the Editor:

I appreciated reading “In Minn. and U.S., Teacher-Led Schools Take Root” (April 19, 2017), about this movement and specifically the work done by teachers at Impact Academy at Orchard Lake in Lakeville, Minn. I work at The Metropolitan Career and Technical Center, a high school also known as The Met, in Providence, R.I. As an innovative career-and-technical-education program, we tend to be out ahead of many educational initiatives, thanks to a relatively flat structure that encourages sharing of ideas and our nontraditional philosophy and guiding principles of student-centered learning.

However, it is the school-leadership graduate program I am currently enrolled in that gives me the greatest appreciation of the article. In spite of The Met’s progressive education approach, we still very much follow the traditional school hierarchy of teachers and staff reporting to the administration and following directives and mandates from above.

I see the shift toward greater shared decisionmaking and reduced reliance on a traditional hierarchy of authority as the next big district innovation. This shift to teacher-led schools is the type of leadership I hope to contribute to in the future.

Impact Academy’s principal noted that because she is accountable to the teachers in her teacher-led school, she strives “to be a leader I would have wanted to work for when I was a teacher.” As a future school leader, this is something I must never forget. I believe a teacher-led school supported by a strong instructional leader is the optimal learning environment for students and staff alike.

To this end, I believe that the Teacher-Powered Schools Initiative goal, referenced in the article, to have a teacher-led school within the reach of any interested educator in the next 30 years will help make the shift to great schools across all areas of the country.

Tim Shannon

Advisor

The Metropolitan Career and Technical Center

Providence, R.I.

A version of this article appeared in the May 10, 2017 edition of Education Week as Teacher-Led Schools Offer Innovative Approach

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