north carolina

How Schools Can Redeploy Teachers in Creative Ways During COVID-19

From Education Week, August 5, 2020, by Catherine Gewertz

One teacher-leadership model is sparking increased interest as schools grapple with how best to support students. It’s called the Multi-Classroom Leadership model, and it was designed by the education advocacy group Public Impact to help excellent teachers reach more students. More than 200 schools in 10 states use it, according to Bryan Hassel, Public Impact’s co-president, and he’s been getting “a lot of calls” from districts asking for details since the model was highlighted as promising in a couple of recent papers on school reopening. Read more…

Multi-Classroom Leaders Provide the “First Line of Defense” in Guilford County, N.C.

By Sharon Kebschull Barrett, May 27, 2020

Across the country, multi-classroom leaders (MCLs) continue to help smooth the transition to online learning not only for their teaching teams, but beyond—reaching their entire schools, even their entire districts.

When Guilford County Schools in Greensboro, North Carolina, went to all-at-home learning, district leaders worried about how to get all teachers the support they needed. “We have more new and lateral-entry teachers than we’ve ever had in Guilford County,” said Chief Academic Officer Whitney Oakley. “Teachers who needed support before need support teaching remotely, and even teachers who didn’t need support at school now need support teaching remotely.” Read more…

From Start to Finish, A Focus on Relationships During At-Home Learning

By Sharon Kebschull Barrett, April 9, 2020

For Candace Butler, who leads a middle-school team of English language arts and social studies teachers in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools’ Wilson STEM Academy, relationships are everything. That was true before COVID-19 sent everyone home, and even more so now.

Pre-pandemic, Butler’s weeks were filled with classroom observations, small-group instruction, co-teaching, and team meetings for planning and data analysis. Read more…

Spreading Support in Vance County During At-Home Learning

By Sharon Kebschull Barrett, April 9, 2020

In a crisis, everyone could use the support that Opportunity Culture multi-classroom leaders (MCLs) offer their small teaching teams, and fast. Vance County Schools, located in North Carolina at the Virginia border, moved quickly post-COVID-19 shutdown to provide that support through a temporary “remote learner leads” team that takes advantage of MCLs’ skills. Read more…

In Charlotte, Keeping Connected to 212 At-Home Students

By Sharon Kebschull Barrett, April 3, 2020

How do you teach 212 students from a distance? Expanded-Impact Teacher Jimmel Williams says you listen carefully to your students’ needs, and keep your teaching—and your high expectations—largely the same.

Williams, who teaches eighth- and ninth-grade math in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools and was a 2017-18 Opportunity Culture Fellow, is still figuring out exactly how he wants the “live” teaching component to work with so many students, but he has a wealth of materials—and individual connecting with students—to draw on meantime. Read more…

Keep Doing What Worked: Advice for At-Home Learning

By Sharon Kebschull Barrett, March 31, 2020

Keep doing what works: For Erin Burns Mehigan, that message has been central to her school’s shift to at-home teaching and learning. Now an assistant principal at Jay M. Robinson Middle School in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, Mehigan was a multi-classroom leader at West Charlotte High School and a 2015–16 Opportunity Culture Fellow.

She took what worked for her as a multi-classroom leader (MCL) to her role at Robinson leading the team of science teachers, as well as all seventh-grade teachers. That includes regular team meetings, which now gather on Zoom twice a week to continue their work to use data-driven instruction, discuss how to hold small-group instruction virtually, and develop at-home schedules that support students without overwhelming them. Read more…

For This MCL, A Week of Team Planning and Parenting

By Sharon Kebschull Barrett, March 22, 2020.

We’ve heard from teachers nationwide what a busy, anxious week the past one was, preparing to do all teaching and learning at home. But we’ve also heard how so many multi-classroom leaders (MCLs) are forging ahead, preparing to continue strong team leadership from afar.

As the week wound down, MCL Fred Hoffmann, science MCL at Fairview Elementary in Guilford County Schools and an Opportunity Culture Fellow, took a few minutes while driving with his father and young children to tell me about what he’s done to prepare for coming weeks with his team, and the stresses and positive signs he’s seen. Read more…

Putting Data In Its Place: How Strong Teaching Teams Use Data To Achieve Student Growth

By Sharon Kebschull Barrett; first published by EducationNC, March 18, 2020

Can deep dives into large flows of student learning data actually lower teacher stress? Successful multi-classroom leaders, who lead small teaching teams in data analysis, say yes. When schools focus on small teams led by highly successful teachers, they help address the concerns North Carolina teachers expressed in a recent survey about professional development on using data and about having time to analyze and use data. Read more…