Current math Senior Team Lead Brenda Carlson agreed that the spring and summer planning and training were critical to successful implementation in the fall, particularly in providing clear structures and expectations for collaborative team time. “Preplanning for the school year really set us up for success,” she said.
Haidee also included videos of teachers in the classroom to discuss with applicants how they might coach the teacher to improve. Even current Senior Team Leads were required to reapply to their positions so that, as the school was going from partial to full implementation, all teachers had equitable access to potential leadership roles. “I wanted to make sure that I had the people who wanted to take us where we wanted to go with instruction and I was really pleased with the results,” Haidee said.
Having a strong team in place was only the beginning. Haidee was well aware that strategically leveraging the talent of the Senior Team Leads and Team Specialists would not simply happen by accident — especially in such a complex school environment. Months of advance planning and training, beginning in March 2016, took place in order to set up the team and the entire school for success in the fall.
Throughout the spring and summer, Haidee and the Senior Team Leads also focused on building team and leadership capacity with an emphasis on developing the group’s coaching skills. The goal was to have the majority of competencies and structures in place by the time school started so that the role and direction of the team was clear. By acting with a shared mission and understanding, Senior Team Leads could be more certain that independent work contributed to the larger strategic goal: stronger instruction in every classroom to improve student growth.