From Odessa Living Magazine, Winter 2021, by Avery Pullin
When Dr. Scott Muri was hired by Ector County ISD, it wasn’t just his knowledge of student learning he brought with him. He also knew how to develop teachers. One vital tool he implemented at ECISD was a new initiative: Opportunity Culture.
Though grants were given to kickstart Opportunity Culture, it is now a fully sustainable, self-funded program that allows the district to utilize their best teachers to train other teachers on their team. These teachers, known as multi-classroom leaders (MCLs), go through a rigorous interview process both with the district and with campus administration. They must show their knowledge of teaching students, coaching colleagues, and analyzing data.
“With the teacher shortage we’ve experienced in West Texas,” says Executive Director of Talent Development Ashley Osborne, “we needed to think differently about how to get people in the classroom, and how we keep them in the classroom.” For Osborne and many at ECISD, one clear answer is Opportunity Culture.
To encourage teachers to pursue this role and spread their knowledge around the campus, ECISD offers a $15,000+ stipend for MCLs. They are also paired with either a Reach Associate or Teacher Resident who aides in their classroom when an MCL is working in other classrooms with other teachers.