Teacher Leadership Matters
It’s simple: Colorado ASCD is your champion. Our mission is to unite and influence the P-20 educational community to promote excellence for each Colorado learner. This mission guides everything we do, propelling our vision of professional growth, voice, and innovation for Colorado educators; advocacy and success for each Colorado learner.
Who is included in the educational community? Anyone who identifies as a learner, or loves a learner: students, teachers, administrators, parents, business community. Learning is the common thread that unites us all. What do we mean by ‘each’ Colorado learner? Every single, individual learner, regardless of age, gender, race, nationality, income, or location. We believe each learner has the right to learn in good health, a safe learning environment, to be engaged in learning, have qualified and caring support, and to be challenged academically.
How are we currently bringing our vision, mission and beliefs to life? Through an exciting new partnership with Belouga.org to deliver world-class professional learning and help build teacher leadership in Colorado’s schools, while breaking down silos of isolation through the global network and connections that Belouga makes possible.
CO ASCD has created innovative professional learning through micro-credentials, housed on the Belouga platform, that focus on Teacher Leadership. Individual teachers seeking professional growth, and schools and districts seeking to build teacher leadership, as well as teachers’ knowledge of innovative strategies for teaching and learning can join CO ASCD and Belouga.org to have access to not just the micro-credentials, but rich curriculum, developed and vetted by teachers, aligned with standards, that can be integrated into online, blended, and traditional learning environments for learners of all ages. Teachers can choose to connect with other teachers and classes worldwide who are accessing the same curriculum, adding amazing depth to the learning.
Foundational micro-credentials for teacher leadership begin with teachers creating their personal vision and mission for being a leader of learning. The next two micro-credentials focus on collaboration: Creating a Culture of Trust and Collegiality and Using Collaboration Processes to Lead Continuous Improvement. Once these are complete, teachers can choose their own path: Teacher as Advocate, Teacher as Champion of Equity and Cultural Diversity, or Teacher as Mentor. The CO ASCD Teacher Leadership Micro-Credentials are aligned with new teacher leadership standards and teacher mentor standards that CO ASCD helped write for Colorado in collaboration with the Colorado Department of Education. Pending legislative approval, evidence of meeting the teacher leadership standards will provide an alternate pathway for teachers to earn the Master Teacher Certificate in Colorado.
Why does this matter? A recent research study, School Leadership Counts, shows that “Schools with the highest levels of instructional and teacher leadership rank at least 10 percentile points higher in both math and English/language arts on state tests, compared to schools with the lowest levels—even after controlling for factors like school poverty, size, and location.”
What is on the horizon? The Big Audacious Goal of CO ASCD is to advocate for financial incentives for teachers who complete the teacher leadership micro-credentials and earn the Master Teacher Certificate. We’d love to see a new career path emerge that gives our master teacher leaders an alternative to leaving the classroom to move up the pay scale. We want to help them by advocating for financial incentives to lead from the classroom – which is where our teacher leaders can best serve the learners of Colorado.
To learn more, visit https://www.coascd.org/about-micro-credentials
Sign up at https://belouga.org/coascd