HOW LEADING EDUCATORS IS IMPACTING A NATION
It’s Saturday. Imagine walking into a crowded classroom abuzz with excitement, as a group of racially and regionally diverse teachers shout out ideas and push each other towards excellence. This scene is commonplace for Leading Educators, a non-profit organization committed to changing the educational landscape of the US.
While many education organizations work to eliminate educational inequality by providing direct services to students and their families, Leading Educators addresses this inequality by addressing a critical, but often overlooked piece—teacher training.
“Who are the best individuals in the school building, and how do we use them to lead their peers to close the achievement gap?” said Quentin Liggins, acting executive director for Washington, DC Leading Educators.
“Traditional teacher prep involves leading students, but doesn’t give the skills required to lead adults. Leading Educators is the only national program that is focused on the management and leadership development of teacher-leaders.”
Angel-Dama Hendricks, dean of student support at DC Prep, joined Leading Educators in 2013.
“As a dean, I’m not just a disciplinarian. My mission is to help students understand the connection between academic growth and their personal character development,” she said. “We’re connecting their various character traits to their future
With offices in Washington, DC, New Orleans, Kansas City and Memphis, Leading Educators selects high performing teachers to become fellows. In DC, fellows receive training and mentorship for one year to help them lead and train other teachers.
Heather DeBruler, a preschool teacher with DC SCHOLARS Public Charter School, is a current Leading Educators fellow. She works hard to create a classroom culture that reaches the students’ individual needs, particularly in an environment that can be fraught with adversity.
“The community of children that I teach—there is so much adversity—one being the way in which schools are funded. When you look at public schools being funded off of property taxes… that’s a justice issue.”
Here’s the Leading Educators formal for success:
professional development sessions
one-on-one leadership coaching
implementing a school improvement project with other educators
While their success formula is multi-layered, their goal, according to Liggins, is simple: “Great schools for all students.”
About the Author: Chanté Griffin is a writer, teaching-artist and life-long learner. She blogs at yougochante.com.