Principal Celeste Douglas knows what it takes to make a school great. Time after time, she shared that knowledge with her teachers at M.S. 57 in Brooklyn.
But for a while, she felt as if her guidance didn't connect with her team. While she was painting a grand vision for her teachers, she wasn't helping them see how each brush stroke contributed to the bigger picture.
"I never was specific about what that looked like," Douglas told us recently.
Mayme Hostetter, Dean of the Relay Graduate School of Education in New York City, both told and showed the audience what great teaching looks like in the last of three Minnesota Meetings on closing the achievement gap.
Read more from The Minneapolis Foundation.
Dean Mayme Hostetter explains how Relay is pioneering a new approach to what novice teachers learn — and how they learn it.
"Those folks who graduate from Relay will become the relay of great teachers ... for this next generation," Hostetter said.
Listen to the full podcast, below.
"If you want to see the future of teacher training," Jonathan Schorr writes, "you could do worse than to visit Samantha Patterson's kindergarten classroom at North Star Academy Charter School of Newark."
Schorr describes three groups of students in Patterson's classroom. One works independently on computers. A second listens quietly while another teacher reads a story. And a third is practices vowel sounds during a "fast-moving, full-body experience" with "quick, joyful volleys" between the students and their teacher.
Doug Lemov, Managing Director at Uncommon Schools, author of Teach Like a Champion and co-author of the new book Practice Perfect, writes that Relay Graduate School of Education, "in contrast to more theory-heavy programs, preps teachers for what they will do all day on the job."
June Kronholz was observing a class at the new Relay Graduate School of Education when a student asked if it was OK to rework questions from a teachers' guide to fit the English lesson she was teaching that week.
Sure, said Mayme Hostetter, Relay's dean.
"No need to totally invent the wheel," Hostetter said. "Just make the wheel amazing."
Read more in Kronholz's full article in EducationNext.
"Most people agree that traditional education schools have failed, especially in preparing teachers equipped for the realities of high-poverty schools," Gov. Gaston Caperton and Richard Whitmire write for The College Board. "Relay is all about getting results in those places."
Read Caperton and Whitmire's article (PDF) in Achieving the Dream: College Board Lessons on Creating Great Schools.
In a recent article for Education Week, Stephen Sawchuk writes that "of all the states that have taken steps to rethink systems for preparing teachers, New York appears to be experimenting with the greatest variety of approaches."
Sawchuk highlights a series of actions by the state Board of Regents over the past 1½ years, as well as the state's move to tie a series of teacher assessments to its tiered-certification system, which ultimately will require all teachers to pass performance exams and demonstrate their impact on student learning to receive a professional certificate.
"If it all sounds revolutionary, it’s supposed to." That's how The New York Times describes Relay Graduate School of Education.
Sharon Otterman writes that Relay's "goal of upending teacher training stems from a broader diagnosis shared by many who work in public education: that it is failing millions of American children, leaving them without the skills they need to succeed in the 21st century."
Read Otterman's full article in the Times.
"First, great teaching trumps demography," Norman Atkins, Relay Graduate School of Education's founder and president, writes in The Wall Street Journal.
Engaging all of the students all of the time generates tens of thousands of additional hours of meaningful learning each year. "That will change the trajectory of students' lives."
"Second, urban school districts must act like Silicon Valley, not the car industry," Atkins argues. "Districts should open up their old buildings and give more great leaders the opportunity to create new high-achieving public schools."
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