Educators, you are the hope you’ve been looking for.Have you ever wondered what it would look like for you and your colleagues to really change how things are done in your school? For over twenty-five years, Partners in School Innovation has empowered educators in doing just that, across twenty-two school districts and eight states, dramatically improving underperforming schools in the process. Their secrets? Specialized adult learning tools, a results-oriented cycle of inquiry, professional development systems focused on coaching and collaboration, implementing improvement science, understanding the roles of race, class, culture, and power in schools, and more.
This book presents those time-tested, research-based practices through narratives chronicling the efforts of real-life educators. It presents thoughtful checklists and discussion questions to help educators strengthen the skill sets and mindsets needed to implement sustainable school improvement.
A lot has changed in recent years, but the solution to turning schools into lively, loving, learning communities remains the same: you. This book provides a blueprint for you to become the change agent your students need.
In this webinar, author Justin Cohen is joined by two educators featured in the book along with Derek Mitchell, the CEO of Partners in School Innovation, a nonprofit organization that supported educators in this work. Presenters share:
- First-hand experience with an equity-focused approach to school transformation that builds the capacity of educators to drive change
- A proven, results-oriented cycle of inquiry for sustainable school improvement
- The need for educators to understand their local history, identities, and biases for successful school improvement
Every story in Change Agents describes a team effort, and that’s intentional; no single person gets to be the savior in the story of school change. We are stronger together, and having a crew ensures that there is no singular person upon whose mental state the entirety of a school’s future hinges. That said, transforming a school requires each of us to reach beyond our current abilities, fears, and limitations. This chapter is about the personal work and growth that must happen in tandem with school transformation.
In this excerpt from chapter 1 of Change Agents, author Justin Cohen introduces readers to educators in a "persistently failing" school in San Jose, California, presenting their experiences within the context of 30 years of school improvement policy. As educators everywhere struggle to make sense of the chaos wrought by unprecedented times, Cohen asks, "What would it actually look like for teachers to be at the center of discussions about school transformation?"
Our public school systems have built-in inequities, and the challenge of dismantling those structures is larger than any one teacher, principal, school, or district. But the truth is that teachers and leaders are the most underestimated force for transformational change in our country. They are already everywhere where improvement is needed. They are at the needed scale, equipped with a will to serve, and possess a myriad of competencies that position them to build relationships needed for lasting community transformation. Learn more about power of educators to lead change in this article.