Envisioning Systemic Change

Nineteen primary level teams completed the first three days of Lesley University’s Literacy Leadership Team Institute.  During this time, six-member school literacy teams – comprised of the principal, the literacy coach, classroom teachers, interventionists, and other key literacy personnel- had the opportunity to explore issues critical to systemic school improvement.

One of my favorite parts of this training is an activity where teams construct a model of their school based on nine components– values and beliefs, leadership, standards, assessment, classroom, teaching, supplemental teaching, home/school community partnerships, professional development and implementation.  Each group creates a visual representation that illustrates how they would like these nine components to build and depend upon each other in their school.

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Effective Literacy Leadership Teams

Literacy Collaborative is not simply a set of instructional practices.  Rather, it is a systematic change effort fueled by the shared vision, values and decision-making capabilities of a strong Literacy Leadership Team.  With the guidance of a trained Literacy Coach, effective teams work together to:

  • Assess strengths and needs of the literacy effort and direct its implementation
  • Understand the rationales for and establish standards for reflection, inquiry, and dialogue
  • Achieve broad ownership of problem-solving and outcomes
  • Monitor and assess student achievement
  • Engage all stakeholders in the change process

An effective Literacy Leadership Team that works to build ownership amongst all stakeholders is a critical factor for a strong implementation.  As we begin another school year, here are some suggestions for establishing a Literacy Leadership Team at your school or for strengthening an existing team.

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