See Related: PD Models Mentoring
  1. Zen Borys
  2. Visiting Assistant Professor
  3. UR Noyce Master Teaching Fellows Program--Phase II: Leveraging Unique Opportunities to Develop STEM Teacher Leaders for Urban Schools
  4. University of Rochester, Warner School of Education, Univ of Rochester, Center for Professional Dev and Ed Reform
  1. Warner School Education
  2. Ph.D. Student
  3. UR Noyce Master Teaching Fellows Program--Phase II: Leveraging Unique Opportunities to Develop STEM Teacher Leaders for Urban Schools
  4. Warner School of Education, Univ of Rochester
Public Discussion
  • Icon for: Zen Borys

    Zen Borys

    Lead Presenter
    May 12, 2019 | 08:28 p.m.

    Thanks for watching our video! We are currently in Year 4 (of 5) of this project and amazed by how the fellows find ways to lead and influence STEM teaching and learning in their districts. If you are interested in a broader view of the program, the project overview page provides a snapshot of all five years (http://urnoyce.org/the-project/). Although we’d be happy to discuss anything you are curious about the project, here are some questions we are especially interested in to start us off:

    -Where do you see teachers leading and influencing STEM teaching and learning in your districts?
    -What challenges do you see teachers facing when they are working to enact change?
    -Where do you see opportunities for teachers to grow their influence beyond their classrooms?

  • Icon for: Wendy Smith

    Wendy Smith

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 13, 2019 | 09:26 a.m.

    Thanks for sharing your video. We are also really interested in teacher leader identity formation, and in understanding how the contexts of Noyce programs and high-need districts can provide opportunities for and nurture leadership development. Do you have particular data collection instruments you used to measure teacher leadership identity (interview questions, survey questions, other)? Do you have advice for Noyce MTFs who are trying to become leaders but their own school is not terribly supportive?

     
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    Nicole Wong
  • Icon for: Nicole Wong

    Nicole Wong

    Researcher
    May 13, 2019 | 04:56 p.m.

    Thank you for your video.  I'm interested in measures of teacher leadership identity, too.

  • Icon for: Zen Borys

    Zen Borys

    Lead Presenter
    May 13, 2019 | 11:18 p.m.

    Hi Wendy and Nicole,

    Thanks for watching and your interest in the project. I’ll start with the advice for MTF’s trying to be leaders in districts where support is hard to come by, then through that answer, I’ll try to address how we’ve looked at leadership and the data sources related to it. I’d say one of the reasons the program has been successful is the model of how leadership changes and grows. Our fellows start with a strong emphasis on their own practice and classrooms. They must adopt a reflective practitioner mentality and become an agent of change in their own classroom. And, that would be the advice, to start small in their own classroom. As the MTF’s confidence and capacity grew, the program pushed them to expand their sphere of influence. We moved from their classroom to coaching, to providing a professional learning experience in districts, and now in the final year, turned our eyes towards systemic changes. As for data measuring leadership, we focused more on the influence and lessons learned from he experiences fellows engaged in in their expanding spheres. The leadership team worked in collaboration with the program evaluators to ensure surveys and interviews assessed the influence of the opportunities fellows had to embody leaders (e.g. as coaches or researchers in their own classrooms).

  • Icon for: Kathy Huncosky

    Kathy Huncosky

    Professional Learning Specialist
    May 13, 2019 | 11:43 a.m.

    I enjoyed watching your video and hearing about your work with developing teacher leaders. We are doing the same kind of work and are in our final year of our grant. Our teacher leaders have opportunities for their own growth, for leading PLCs at their school sites, and for facilitating teacher courses in their districts. All of this is done to improve science learning for students. I am interested in learning more about what you plan to offer in the final year of your work and how you hope to equip your teacher leaders to continue in their own growth and in their leading. How do you plan to sustain what you have done? Will you follow these teacher leaders in any way in the future?

  • Icon for: Zen Borys

    Zen Borys

    Lead Presenter
    May 14, 2019 | 09:46 a.m.

    Hi Kathy,

    Thanks for watching and it’s great you shared a glimpse of some of your work (would love to hear more). In the final year of the program we make a shift towards a systemic view of STEM teaching and learning. The prior years had different foci, when in years one and two the focus is on learning, teaching, and the fellows practice. In years three and four there is a shift towards leadership. For example, one facet of the program that is the focus of this year is implementing a professional learning experience in fellows’ local districts. After conducting a needs assessment, fellows designed a professional learning experience and worked with administrators on implementing it. Then in the final year, fellows will reflect on their growth as leaders and determine a STEM reform initiative to work towards. They do the work of aligning their perceived strengths towards meaningful change.
    As for following the current fellows, we’ve been fortunate to start a new MTF project (currently in year 1) and some of the fellows from this cohort will serve as senior fellows for the new group. By participating as Senior Fellows we’ll stay in close contact with a number of the fellows, and the rest with our work in districts. I’d love to hear thoughts and ideas about more sustained outreach. Thanks for asking!

  • Icon for: Mac Cannady

    Mac Cannady

    Facilitator
    May 13, 2019 | 02:47 p.m.

    Thank you so much for sharing your video and giving voice to the teachers you work with. It was neat to hear how one of the fellows developed a new understanding of her role as a science educator. Where could I learn more about how these teachers serve as leaders for the other teachers in their schools or districts? 

  • Icon for: Zen Borys

    Zen Borys

    Lead Presenter
    May 15, 2019 | 11:46 p.m.

    This is a great question, and one the leadership team is grappling with.  We have a website (urnoyce.org) and try to highlight some of the fellows work through the site, but we have not settled on an efficient way to capture and share how the fellows have engaged in leadership roles.  One area that could help us is finding out what people would be interested in.  For instance, would it more useful to capture and share snapshots of the activities fellows have designed or engaged in, or would it be more useful to focus on a fellow and see how his or her perceptions about leadership have changed.  Both have merits to us, but require a different type of follow through.  Thanks for the interest!

  • May 13, 2019 | 05:36 p.m.

    Thank you for sharing your video. We also have Noyce MTF project with elementary school teachers and we are at the end of year 2. Some of our teachers have already started to lead workshops for other teachers in their schools, in the district and in our program. Others are still developing their own teacher identity. Did you provide opportunities in your program for your fellows to progress at their own pace towards teacher leadership? That is one of our struggles - how to move the cohort when they are in very different levels of readiness for leadership role.

  • Icon for: Zen Borys

    Zen Borys

    Lead Presenter
    May 14, 2019 | 10:07 a.m.

    Hi Irina,

    Thanks for watching. And, I can appreciate the struggle. Our program is based on a cohort model where the teachers have similar experiences leading at the same time. That being said, it’s pretty safe to say that the fellows had their own comfort zones when leading. To help fellows grow as leaders, the program was structured to include a Leadership Seminar. This course (1 credit) runs the length of the project and shifts foci from year to year. For example the first two years focused on learning and teaching with support surrounding the Understanding by Design Process. In year three Leadership Seminar focused on supporting fellows growth as coaches. And in year four, the focus shifted towards supporting the design and implementation of a professional learning experience. In general, it provided a space for fellows to access a broader community working on similar problems and get lots of feedback. Through their interactions with the leadership team and each other, the space provided fellows with support and resources to grapple with leadership dilemmas. Let us know if you’d like more details and thanks for your interest.

  • May 13, 2019 | 05:48 p.m.

    Thank you for sharing your video. You mentioned that as a coach you focus on the teacher and how what the teacher does effects the students. Does this include looking at the students for evidence of learning?  I always felt that if we approach teachers with evidence of student learning rather than what the teacher did or said allows for more discussion and does not put the teacher on defense.  What type of strategies do you use to make sure that the teacher does not feel threatened?

  • Icon for: Zen Borys

    Zen Borys

    Lead Presenter
    May 13, 2019 | 11:16 p.m.

    Hi Cheryl,

    Thanks for watching and sharing. And yes, we’ve used Lucy West’s approach of Content Focused Coaching as our base for coaching, where the collaborative nature of the model offsets some of the pressure on the teacher. Also, our MTF fellows took a course in the counseling department focused on communication. Their reflections reinforced how important fellows felt this course was and communication in their coaching cycles. In addition to building a relationship with the teacher being coached, fellows consistently referred to the importance of listening to the teacher they were working with. Through active listening fellows were able to find entryway and have difficult conversations with teachers when they needed to.

  • Icon for: Dave Miller

    Dave Miller

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 13, 2019 | 06:12 p.m.

    Zen, good job with the video, and thanks for sharing it in the showcase! I’m curious how this early-on work informed the relatively new teacher leader certificate program at the Warner School? - Dave

  • Icon for: Susan McKenney

    Susan McKenney

    Facilitator
    May 14, 2019 | 08:22 a.m.

    Thanks for sharing this very interesting work! I am curious to learn about how you are tackling implementation challenges. In particular: Early: How were fellows selected/nominated? Midway: What kinds of rewards/recognition are in place? Late: How are you ensuring (shift of) ownership of the program so that it can continue after the grant?

    All the best, 
    Susan

  • Icon for: Zen Borys

    Zen Borys

    Lead Presenter
    May 18, 2019 | 03:19 p.m.


    Hi Susan,
    Thanks for watching and the question. This is our second Noyce MTF grant and we’ve tried to continually reflect on and refine the phases. The recruitment phase was multi-pronged. In addition to a usual application process, fellows were interviewed, allowed a classroom observation, and participated in a mandatory STEM Leadership Workshop where the leadership team could start getting to know fellows in a learner role. The leadership team also interviewed applications administrators. In the middle phase or during the bulk of the project fellows have opportunities to be recognized within their districts and are encouraged to present at various conferences. Some fellows also elected to pursue some additional coursework and earn various certificates (e.g. administrator or online teaching and learning certificates). And lastly shifting ownership to the fellows (great question), the project has focused on developing their identities and skills as teacher leaders. This emphasis on identity and leadership in the project weaved ownership throughout the project. In year five the fellows' major project can also be seen as a launch to work after the fellowship. Fellows will create an action plan aligned with local needs and their strengths as teacher leaders geared towards improving STEM education in their districts.

     
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    Susan McKenney
  • Icon for: Susan McKenney

    Susan McKenney

    Facilitator
    May 19, 2019 | 07:52 a.m.

    Thanks very much for this useful and inspiring information! 

  • Icon for: K. Renae Pullen

    K. Renae Pullen

    Facilitator
    May 14, 2019 | 09:34 p.m.

    Very interesting. Thanks!

    Can you describe the partnerships that existed with the teacher leader fellows and school/district administrators? Those partnerships can be huge motivators or barriers to the work of a teacher leader. Can you explain how local/state policies inhibited or informed your work?

  • Icon for: Zen Borys

    Zen Borys

    Lead Presenter
    May 18, 2019 | 03:31 p.m.

    Thanks for watching and the question! It’s difficult to describe the partnerships between districts and the project and fellows to administrators because they vary case by case. However, we agree that they are important and constantly are looking for ways to support these partnerships. Throughout the program, fellows engage in scaffolded experiences where they have opportunities to work with their administrators. For example, fellows design and implement a professional learning experience in their districts supporting local needs. This project involves collaboration between district admin. and fellows.

  • Further posting is closed as the showcase has ended.