Learn about an Opportunity Culture from some of the people who know it–and love it–best: Ranson IB Middle School multi-classroom leaders (MCLs) Bobby Miles and April Drakeford, along with Principal Alison Harris, and Ashley Park PreK-8 MCL Kristin Cubbage told Andrew Dunn of the Charlotte Observer and TimeWarner Cable News how Opportunity Culture roles keep great teachers in the classroom and provide the support, collaboration, and coaching all teachers need.
“This definitely is my dream job,” Drakeford told TWC News. “Teachers are getting better each week because they’re coached weekly. …It’s a lot of work, but you see so much success.”
In video clips for Dunn’s Opportunity Culture primer, Miles, Cubbage, and Harris explain some of the differences between Opportunity Culture positions and usual teaching roles, and tell how an Opportunity Culture creates career paths for teacher-leaders to stay in the classroom and keep and support great teachers.
“As a regular classroom teacher for the last seven years, I was just responsible for about 125 scholars …. but as the multi-classroom leader for eighth-grade science I am now responsible for the whole, entire eighth grade … which is about 421 scholars,” Miles said.
He pulls small groups, models great teaching for his team teachers, co-teaches, and analyzes student data to be sure each student gets the individualized instruction needed to succeed.
For Cubbage, multi-classroom leadership provides a great combination of teaching, leadership, higher pay for more responsibility, and the chance to reach many more students.
“There’s no real steppingstone in education, so you’re either in the classroom and teaching, or you come out of the classroom if you want leadership,” Cubbage told Dunn. “A multi-classroom leader is able to stay in the classrooms and also have leadership. So on any given day, I’m teaching kindergarten letter sounds and I’m teaching second-grade fractions in math. I’m also providing feedback for the teachers so helping them grow in the career, but I also have feedback from my coaches and I get to attend professional developments that grow me as a leader … it’s been a really exciting pathway for education.”
Principal Harris especially appreciates how Opportunity Culture keeps great teachers in her high-need school.
“Opportunity Culture really has assisted with retaining and recruiting great teachers,” Harris said.
Especially at a high-need urban school such as Ranson, “[O]ur scholars really need excellent teachers, and not only do they need excellent teachers, but excellent teachers need support as well. So Opportunity Culture really allows us to create a structure where our most novice teachers and teachers who are working really hard can feel supported …. I can see a distinct difference in the job satisfaction of my teachers as well as the sustainability of this work. And so I have teachers already thinking about ‘I really want to come back, I really want to see where we can go next year with the support of my multi-classroom leader.’ ”