Hi Dragana and Math Leadership CoP!
So excited to be a part of this project and the opportunity to get to know each of you! As an educator that has recently returned to the classroom I believe strongly that all classroom teachers must be mathematical leaders :-) I am a self professed research junkie and just can't dispute the fact that in order to reach our students and meet their diverse needs, we must have confident, well-educated, teacher leaders in the classroom. I feel it is tremendously important to support teachers willing to explore, experiment and learn alongside their students. Hamilton Health Science (our local group of hospitals) has recently launched a '10,000 frontline leaders' campaign whereby they are committing to making their frontline staff the most effective and innovative problem solvers in the organization. This is happening by intentionally dissolving hierarchies and forming teams daily comprised of nurses, doctors, clinical leaders, patients and parents of children in hospital. I can't help but think - how amazing!!!
What would happen to public education if we adopted this model? If teachers were seen as the greatest leaders in the organization? Where they were encouraged to direct their own professional learning and were collaborating regularly with all levels of educators, parents and students?
I think this is what I am most excited about in this CoP. I hope we can bring a little of this to our corners of the world and share some of the fabulous work that has already begun to happen.
Looking forward to connecting with each of you!
our school has 2 math leads and both are NTIP teachers in year 1. I have grave concerns about this and so do many of my colleagues. My concern is the struggle each of these 2 individuals have engaging in dialogue with adults. There is a tendency to treat instructional sharing as teacher and umknowlegeable learner.
You are making a very good point. You are concerned that your colleagues may not know the school and their peers well enough, and that they may be inexperienced in working with adults. It seems that they were selected as the math content experts, which may be a good strength to have in a school.
Indeed, we are finding in the literature (and in the experience of others), that among else, knowledge of working with adults and understanding aspects of organizational change, should belong to a math lead's toolkit. It also seems unfair that new teachers are tasked with so much responsibility. But, because such and/or other challenges exist in every school, we need to redefine the term "lead/leadership/content/leadership" and to work together to bring about the positive change.
I hope that other members of our CoP will join you in providing their experience from the field, but I think that no matter how experienced 1-2 people are, they will not be able to move the organization forward without the joint effort of others. In some schools the math leadership team has 1-3 math leads, school administrators, and Spec. Ed. teachers working together. Maybe you or some of your more experienced colleagues would want to join/create the math leadership team in your school and add your knowledge and experience to that of the math leads? Working with colleagues (adults) tactfully and respectfully will help the team earn trust of others.
Our CoP has members and partners all over Ontario, so ask your colleagues to join our conversations and activities, and share resources.
I started this blog asking how to define mathematics leadership and am thankful that you addressed this important component. I think that we are landing at the position that education leaders in any role are lead learners, and that school leadership is most effective when it is distributed and when all are expected to contribute for the benefit of students.
In many ways our work is related to better understanding and redefining teaching profession. What do you think, how are math leaders different from other educators who are leaders? Are all educators math leaders, or should they be? Let's first understand the construct of mathematics leadership. What do you think about the image on our website? (mathematics leadership – Math Knowledge Network ) Does it accurately and fully represent the mathematics leadership? What else could we add, address? What do we know or do not know about it?