Teachers spend countless hours planning their instruction. But those days are over once you become a school leader, right? Not at Twin Oaks Elementary in Baton Rouge, Louisiana!
Twin Oaks Elementary recently adopted a new, high-quality curriculum. Switching curricula can feel stressful and overwhelming for teachers, but the process has gone smoothly thanks to the hands-on support of the school leaders. According to Principal Cesar Rico, “Assistant Principal Charletta Williams and I have been rolling up our sleeves and doing the work alongside our teachers.”
Kristen Parker, the school’s ANet coach, works with the leaders to internalize the curriculum. Then, the leaders and teachers plan lessons together. These collaborative sessions give teachers an opportunity to brainstorm and evaluate ideas with a well-informed thought partner. Teachers and leaders also work together to figure out how to adapt the curriculum to meet the specific needs of their students.
The planning sessions provide dedicated time for teachers to dig in and learn the new curriculum, which has proved far more effective than simply handing the curriculum over to teachers to figure out on their own time. As Principal Rico says, it takes time to change and, just as they benefited from time with their ANet coach, leaders have to provide the time and support for teachers to learn the curriculum, too.