Chicago to Add Gym and Art Classes Recommended by VIVA Teachers Two Years Ago

For the first time in nearly 20 years, Chicago Public Schools (CPS) will require its students to have daily physical education. Two years ago, 600 CPS teachers participated in online VIVA Idea Exchange™ about how the district’s students spend their time in school. Among the six recommendations that came out of the Idea Exchange, two specifically focused on physical activity:

  • Ensure all CPS students a well-rounded education, including art, music and physical education.
  • Ensure all children have time for free play in the school day.

On Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014, Chicago Board of Education will vote on new policy mandating 30 minutes of daily PE for elementary school students, and an average of 42 minutes of daily PE for high school students.

Currently, elementary school students average 60 minutes of PE per week. High school freshmen and sophomores have one semester of PE per year.

The VIVA Chicago Idea Exchange teachers called for doubling physical education minutes for all grades to 180 minutes per week. Under the new CPS policy, elementary schools will provide up to 150 total minutes of PE per week.

These changes represent two gems in a whole treasure trove of improvements that the board can access by listening to classroom educators.

Citing obesity rates among CPS students, which have only gotten worse over the last two years, the VIVA Chicago Idea Exchange teachers wrote: “We cannot morally neglect our students’ physical health. Many students also suffer from chronic stress, fatigue, lack of focus and disruptive behavior. Research shows that an increase in physical education can alleviate all of these problems as well as support student learning.”

New Voice Strategies, the nonprofit operator of the VIVA Idea Exchange™, applauds CPS for its action to increase physical education in its curriculum.

Xian Barrett, national program director for New Voice Strategies, participated in the VIVA Chicago Idea Exchange when he was teaching in a CPS high school. He said, “We are gratified that the CPS board is implementing a solution that VIVA Teachers and our parent and community allies have advocated for years. We also would urge CPS leadership to invite educators to lead the discussion as how to best implement this needed change.”

The new physical education policy will roll out over three years. CPS will use TIF funds to cover 75 percent of the cost to hire new teachers in the first year and 50 percent in the second. Schools will cover their own costs in year three. TIF funds will pay for 84 new PE teachers. Schools with the highest needs will be staffed first.

VIVA Chicago Idea Exchange teachers also recommended that each elementary school week should include 90 minutes of art. CPS has announced it will use TIF funds to hire 84 new art teachers, as well.

“VIVA Teachers have emphasized the importance of a well-rounded curriculum; especially in the face of the growing focus on standardized tests and tested subjects. There are many students whose joy of learning depends on access to rich opportunities in the arts. We hope that CPS considers further reforms to how time is used in school that place student needs before bureaucratic and political priorities.  These changes represent two gems in a whole treasure trove of improvements that the board can access by listening to classroom educators and the parents, students and communities we serve,” said Barrett.

CPS has already implemented other recommendations that were outlined in the VIVA Chicago Idea Exchange report, Time, Teachers and Tomorrow’s Schools, which was presented to the district, Chicago Teachers Union, and Mayor’s Office in December 2011. For example, CPS reduced the amount of time spent on tests and called on VIVA Teachers to develop a plan for implementing recess in all elementary schools.



New NEA Idea Exchange on Time in School

Time in school is a hot topic among both educators and education policymakers: If your school or district isn’t already talking about it, it won’t be long before they do. For that reason, NEA is launching a new initiative to develop a national strategy to help its state and local associations respond to time in school issues.

NEA-Banner-190-1To inform that strategy, NEA has launched a VIVA Idea Exchange™ on this question: If you could redesign the school structure to best fit the needs of your students, what would the school day, week and year look like?

As every educator knows, time in school is a complex issue that relates not only to how long the day or year is, but how much time is spent teaching, how much time students spend on learning, and how teachers balance preparation, professional development and non-classroom activities. NEA is encouraging its members to be creative, push the bounds of current structures, and challenge conventional thinking to structure time in school that provides the most benefits to students.

If you are a member of NEA, please join the VIVA NEA Idea Exchange: Time in School to share your ideas for making the most of teacher and student time in school. At the end of the online dialogue, a small group of participants will present recommendations to NEA leadership in Washington, D.C.


A Shift Towards Trust: Voices, Ideas, Vision, Action

 By Wade Sutton, Glenn Morehouse Olson & Freeda Pirillis

“If the person you are talking to doesn’t appear to be listening, be patient. It may simply be that he has a small piece of fluff in his ear.”

– A.A. Milne, Winnie the Pooh

From the center of the fevered storm to restructure education, a small voice speaks. It has always been there. It is still there. We might miss it for the crowd surrounding our institutions of learning. It is the voice of those working within the building…the voice of educators.

It is popular for policy makers to appear to be listening. While the power for change does not sit in the hands of the experienced educational professionals, the words of Dr. Ralph Nichols from the University of Minnesota offer a solution: “The best way to appear to be listening is to listen.” However, many teachers, worn out from raising their voices against educational doctrine, accept their minor role in policy. They endure and teach. Often their growing skepticism results in simply giving up on finding their own voice through the noise.

VIVA: Elevating Authentic Teacher Voice for Impact and Activism

In 2010, a new organization entered the throng to clear the clouds of obscuring politics. It seeks to trust to educators to answer the foundational questions we need to ask about education. We talk to doctors about health. We talk to lawyers about justice. But we talk to politicians about education. With patience, the conversation shifts toward trusting those who live education.

VIVA is a project of New Voice Strategies, a national nonprofit that operates online peer collaborations for teachers. They call these teacher-to-teacher conversations a VIVA Idea Exchange. ™ We have each participated in at least one of the 14 VIVA Idea Exchanges that have occurred since VIVA launched in late 2010. The innovation of these VIVA Idea Exchanges nails real solutions onto the doors of education departments across America.

VIVA arrived at a time when the “assessment era” laid bare the way policy has direct impact on our teaching practices, even if not a single classroom teacher is involved in crafting that policy. It is part of a small collection of nonprofit organizations and initiatives to give classroom teachers new avenues into broader policy debates in their districts and across their states. Together, these groups are opening up a new national dialogue between teachers and between teachers and policy makers about the broader education policies that reflect our expectations of public schools. To us, this phenomenon is both long overdue and a necessity.

Asking Teachers, Building Professional Collaborations

We are three teachers from different locations, different setting, different grades and different training.  VIVA connected us to hundreds of teachers in a problem-solving collaboration on a policy issue that we see as vital to our profession, it connected us to each other, creating a community of like-minded teachers who want our voices to be part of broader education policy questions but have no interest in leaving our classrooms and it connected our ideas to senior policy makers who can make real and lasting change.

Not only did each teacher present a report directly to policy makers, but VIVA became the vehicle for teacher voice to stretch beyond the walls of their classroom. From attending the Department of Education’s Respect Conference in Washington, D.C. to NBC’s Education Nation in New York, voices within the teaching profession continue to engage with the policies that affect educators nationwide.

VIVA Teacher Wade Sutton, 7-12th Grade English, Indus School, Birchdale, Minn.

Teaching in a rural Minnesota district bordering Canada can be isolating. Participation in VIVA’s Idea Exchange removed the innate barriers this location placed on my professional experience. Although I had taught under five administrators in seven years, I had no expectations of finding a platform to address principal competence. I had never been heard before. Schools maintain a culture not about listening and innovating, but structure themselves with division: between teachers and administrators, between disciplines, between public and charter, between rural, suburban and urban. While I thought voicing my professional conclusions about creating great principals would go unheard, I was wrong. The VIVA experience changed my perspective.

VIVA Teacher Glenn Morehouse Olson, 9-12th Grade, St. Francis, Minn.

When I first logged on to participate in the VIVA Minnesota Idea Exchange, I was not sure what to expect. As a journalism, theater and language arts teacher, I don’t have a lot of extra time between publications, productions and grading, but I cared enough about the idea of legislation regarding principal evaluation that I put in my two cents. One thing that struck me about this Idea Exchange was the diversity of experiences teachers expressed. It was hard to imagine how a rural teacher in a 7-12 school could relate to an elementary teacher from Minneapolis with a minimum of five different languages in one classroom. But what I found was an online community of teachers who were passionate about similar issues, and were able, with the help of a moderator, to discuss their ideas with a level of respect for one another.

VIVA Teacher Freeda Pirillis, First Grade, Chicago, Ill.

Isolated in one of more than 400 schools in the third largest urban school district, I am one voice drowned out by the noise and confusion of a system weighted down by turnover, misguided principles, and unprofessional practices. The VIVA Idea Exchange represented an opportunity to elevate my voice and those of teachers like me who rarely are included in discussion shaping policy in education. I had never heard of New Voice Strategies, participated in an Idea Exchange, nor been asked how educational policy could be changed to improve the quality of teaching and learning conditions in my classroom.  Participating in the Writing Collaborative with five teachers nationwide shifted my perspective from one teacher in a classroom, isolated from others, to a teacher with a voice, representing many others at the district, state and national level. Being part of the VIVA National Task Force, meeting with U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan, and jointly discussing solution-oriented recommendations on the major issues facing the nation’s education system demonstrated it was possible to ignite systematic change with one meeting.

The Idea Exchange Process: A Conversation Begins

Using a central question, the VIVA Idea Exchange connects teachers with a policy maker, creating an incentive for participation. After the weeks of the open discussion, where educators across a specified geography speak from their experience and offer solutions, VIVA forms a writing collaborative from participants. These thought leaders distill the ideas and solutions into actionable recommendations for policy and deliver their report to a public policy official. VIVA’s first Idea Exchange, asking teachers for new ideas to strengthen federal teacher professional development policy, culminated in an in-person meeting between eight classroom teachers and Secretary Duncan and his staff. Their proposals can be found in elements of the department’s teacher effectiveness initiatives, including the Presidential Teaching Fellows program.

Since this first success, VIVA has engaged more than 5,000 teachers in one or more of the 13 collaborative, solution-oriented discussions resulting in actionable recommendations for policy makers. At the state level, New York teachers tackled the issue of teacher evaluation, Chicago teachers delivered a framework for restructuring the longer school day, Minnesota teachers developed recommendations for legislatively mandated principal and teacher evaluations, and Arizona charter school teachers laid the groundwork for the successful transition and implementation of the Common Core State Standards. (To access any of the VIVA Idea Exchange reports,

Impacting Policy: One Idea Exchange at a Time

Often, the impact of teacher voice is unclear to educators, therefore deepening the skepticism teachers feel about participating in discussions on educational policy. Amongst all the noise created in the media on what teachers need, want, or demand that is deemed fair, VIVA has worked to sift through the noise to identify actionable solutions and immediate change. VIVA has also strived to identify the impact on educational policy following an Idea Exchange and the delivery of a report to a public official. As educators, we look for the evidence of growth in our students, chart the progressions, gather the data, and synthesize the results. Similarly, with each Idea Exchange, VIVA has identified how teacher voice has shaped policy in the affected districts and states.

Wade Sutton

Since participating in the VIVA Idea Exchange, teaching in rural Minnesota is more relevant than ever. The educational event horizon expands the world every time a teacher is given a voice. While my students are the center of my career, it is encouraging that my experience has reached beyond my local community. From the Respect Conference in D.C. to Indus School in Birchdale, Minn., from NBC’s Education Nation in New York to the students in my classroom, I know that an educator’s professional voice needs to be heard. The health of our schools requires that more educators speak and that policymakers listen.

Freeda Pirillis

As a VIVA Teacher, I actively seek opportunities to elevate authentic teacher voice at all levels of my work. Serving as an Instructional Leader in my school building, a Common Core unit developer at the local level, attending NBC’s Education Nation Summit in New York in 2012 and 2013, and the U.S. Department of Education’s Respect Conference in Washington, D.C. have allowed me to stretch my thinking beyond the confines of my classroom, to collaborate with educators who share a vision: systematic change for teachers by teachers. I believe VIVA is the vehicle by which that can be achieved.

Glenn Morehouse Olson

In short, I was empowered by my first experience with VIVA. Since that time, I have participated in the Respect conference in Washington, D.C., blogged, written an article for MN Educator encouraging other educators to share their voices, and presented information to my local union. This summer, I was on a panel about bringing teacher voice to the table at the Learning Forward Conference in Minneapolis, with Education Researcher Ellen Sherratt and VIVA founder Elizabeth Evans. That led to Sherratt recommending me to producers at Education Nation, which resulted in my participation as a teacher panelist. Through these experiences, I have met and collaborated with people I would never have otherwise known and who, though geographically separated, I have come to consider colleagues in this great profession. As a journalism and theater teacher, I have always understood the power of the written and spoken word. As a VIVA Teacher, I have been able to put those skills to new use and actually connect with an audience who might not only dare to listen, but who has the power to take my voice, ideas and visions to a new level of action.

VIVA’s Place at the Table

With a growing number of teacher advocacy groups claiming to be the answer to education’s problems and represent authentic teacher voice, VIVA has something new to offer. Educators who have participated in the Idea Exchanges agree the difference lies in the process. VIVA addresses a central question and maintains short timelines with specific deadlines. Every Idea Exchange results in a solution-oriented, actionable list of recommendations, and a seat at the table with the people who shape educational policy.

VOICE “I hear and I forget.” IDEAS & VISION “I see and I remember.” ACTION “I do and I understand.” – Confucius, (551–479 BCE)

Wade, Freeda and Glenn collaborated to summarize their VIVA experience for the article “Educators Speak Out: Organizations offer teachers new avenues for influencing education policy” that appeared in the July/August edition of Harvard Education Letter

Wade Sutton profile


Glenn Morehouse Olson


Remaking Public Education in Pittsburgh

A group of 10 Pittsburgh citizens, representing educators, parents and community members, collaborated online to write Artisans and Inventors of a New and Brighter World: Remaking Public Education in Pittsburgh. The 41-page report, presented to Pittsburgh Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Linda Lane on Oct. 17, 2013, outlined five key recommendations and 25 actionable solutions for improving the student experience and teaching environment in PPS.

Download full report as a PDF

The 10-person Writing Collaborative represented more than 180 educators and community members who participated in the first phase of the online VIVA Pittsburgh Idea Exchange that began in late July.

The overarching theme of the recommendations is Pittsburgh parents and community members welcome an increased partnership with the school district to improve the curriculum, rebuild trust, improve school climate, and supplement resources.

The five recommendations in the report are:

  1. Assure systemwide delivery of a relevant, coherent curriculum that makes learning a joy for students.
  2. Provide educators with the tools and support they need to effectively use the curriculum.
  3. Establish practices and communication infrastructure that promote trust among parents, students, educators, and public officials.
  4. Create a nurturing social-emotional climate in all schools to allow students to develop as productive members of a democratic society.
  5. Take innovative approaches to budget reporting and planning to build community trust and be transparent about the use and impact of public funds.

The 25 specific solutions identified by the Writing Collaborative include several concrete action items, such as

  • Make free play the main teaching tool with young students. Shorten periods of instruction in early grades to allow more time for free play. Incorporate play into the daily school routines. Look to community partners to augment opportunities for creative play.
  • Train teachers to use new curricula until they are confident they can use it in the classroom. Create a repository that houses all curricula that is easily accessible to teachers and families.
  • Survey the community and provide opportunities for community members to share their unique knowledge in the schools, and structure partnerships with organizations that already engage children and families to access talent in a way that maximizes students’ educational opportunities.
  • Provide comprehensive wraparound services for all students, particularly those who are isolated or have experienced trauma.
  • Implement restorative justice models in which older students take responsibility for their actions rather than receive punishment, with companion programs that prepare elementary students for these approaches.

The Writing Collaborative also outlined detailed strategies for creating Learning Resource Centers, in partnership with parents and community organizations, to extend learning resources beyond the school day and into the neighborhoods where students study and work, as well as attracting new public and private resources to support public schools. For example, the group proposed engaging local businesses and professionals to create supplemental programs for students, “especially for lower-income students who do not have access to all the support and experiences that contribute to higher academic achievement.”

New Idea Exchange on Teacher Licensure in Colorado

logo_join_bannerWhen the Colorado General Assembly convenes in the new year, it will be considering legislation governing educator licensure. The Colorado Education Association (CEA) strongly believes the experience and insights of educators are critical to shaping any changes to Colorado’s licensing system. For that reason, last week, CEA launched a VIVA Idea Exchange to seek member input on creating the most effective state licensure and renewal system. The resulting recommendations will help to shape CEA’s positions on our state’s licensure standards.

If you are a CEA member, please join the VIVA CEA Idea Exchange: Teacher Licensure to share your ideas for re-envisioning Colorado’s licensure system. If you know a CEA member, help us spread the word. The Idea Exchange will be open until Oct. 25th.

VIVA MET Teachers Meet with U.S. Dept. of Education

On May 14, 10 teachers, who participated in the VIVA Measures of Effective Teaching (MET) Idea Exchange, traveled to Washington, DC, for intensive, back-to-back sessions with U.S. Dept. of Education (ED) staff. The meetings, which were requested by ED, were a follow up to the Idea Exchange recommendations, released by VIVA and the Gates Foundation in February. In particular, ED wanted to focus on teacher evaluation and technology.

Teacher Evaluation
About a dozen ED staff, including Senior Program Advisor for Teacher Quality Initiatives Brad Jupp, attended the first session on teacher evaluation. They zeroed in on the four solutions under the first recommendation: “Teacher performance should have a higher weighting than students’ standardized test scores in all evaluation circumstances. Teacher evaluations have to focus on classroom activities, and we need to build the capacity necessary to use multiple measures of teachers’ work.” The proposed solutions are:

  1. As stated in the MET report, “Nine Principles for Using Measures of Effective Teaching,” a balanced approach would be to allocate between 33 percent to 50 percent of the weight to student achievement. We see 50 percent as an extraordinarily high weight for student achievement tests and the norm for that measure should be closer to 33 percent. This is especially true in elementary school. We as a nation need to invest more in creating student standardized assessments that are reliable across a range of circumstances.
  2. Allow for the teacher’s immediate supervisor, specifically the school principal, to have a greater weight in the overall rating since they are working more consistently and in direct contact with the teachers in the classroom. As valuable as Peer Mentors are, their evaluation should have much less weight on the overall rating since they do not have direct contact with the teacher, and may not be familiar with the school or classroom dynamic. Let their evaluation be for learning and reflection only.
  3. With the ability to record and review classroom practice, teachers and school principals have more and more accurate information to know students and know the level of true engagement of students. As long as recording of actual classroom practice is available, principals and instructional leaders can reliably review teaching performance and use that information in professional evaluations.
  4. Self evaluation is another important component of any effective teacher evaluation system. In our experience in MET, the opportunity to reflect on our own practice was invaluable.

Asked which of the four proposed solutions they thought should be implemented immediately, the teachers unanimously said number 3, videotaping.

The teachers shared some of the challenges schools are facing as they adopt teacher evaluation requirements spelled out by Race to the Top. For example, they noted that a principal now has more evaluations to conduct, requiring more observation, which is good in theory. However, in reality, there is not enough time to do them thoroughly.

The teachers suggested ED could better support the process by shining a light on places where evaluation is working well. “What’s important to remember is you have a group of people across the country who agree this is an effective tool,” one of the teachers explained. “The problem is implementation. People have rushed to do this, and it’s bred a lot of mistrust and misunderstanding. People need to see this evaluation tool in action.”

After a break to meet Education Secretary Arne Duncan, the VIVA Teachers sat down with members of the department’s technology team, led by Richard Culatta, acting director of the Office of Educational Technology.

With the understanding that a lack of infrastructure is an issue, ED wanted to know what it could do to encourage teachers to use more technology. New York City teacher Kwesi Ndzibah said, “There are ‘digital natives’ and ‘digital immigrants.’ Many teachers are the latter, and we need to get more people to be the former.” There are social forces getting people to use Facebook and play Farmville. It is a very different kind of exposure to stand in front of your class and use an iPad in front of a class.”

The teachers also flagged the issue of acceptable use policies in school not keeping up with technology. The ED staff agreed this is their next frontier. The also describe the work currently underway to increase congressional funding for broadband capacity. They also introduced, a Wikipedia-type site for teachers to search for a variety of digital learning content in one location, instead of having search multiple websites.

Connections for Learning: Unifying the Social and Academic Curriculum in Minneapolis Public Schools 

Download Full Report as a PDF

In March 2013, the VIVA Minneapolis Teachers Idea Exchange invited 5,000 K–12th grade teachers and education support professionals working in Minneapolis public schools to share their perspectives and experiences about maintaining a successful learning culture while addressing behavioral and discipline issues in their classrooms. They were invited to share their ideas in response to this question:  “What are the most effective strategies you’ve used that have had a positive impact on student behavior? What would best help students who grapple with behavior issues?  What changes need to be made at the building level? What kind of support or professional development should the district provide so individual teachers can build a positive learning environment in their classroom?”

In response, 286 members added 70 new ideas and shared 146 comments with one another.

Download a copy of Connections for Learning: Unifying the Social and Academic Curriculum in Minneapolis Public Schools.

Sensible Solutions for Safer Schools: An Educators’ Vision for Positive Learning Environments

On April 24, 2013, the members of the Writing Collaborative presented their ideas to NEA President Dennis Van Roekel and his senior staff, and to senior staff of U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.

Download Full Report as a PDF

The VIVA NEA Idea Exchange invited all members of the National Education Association in Alabama, Colorado, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Ohio, Oregon, Utah, and Virginia to share their ideas about creating a positive learning environment and safety in classrooms and school buildings. This VIVA Idea Exchange occurred during a pivotal time in the United States, just two months after the horrific shooting tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School, in Newtown, Conn. took the lives of 26 people and touched off a national debate on school violence and safety.

Download a copy of Sensible Solutions for Safer Schools: An Educators’ Vision for Positive Learning Environments

VIVA MET: Reflections from the Classroom – Measures of Effective Teaching Idea Exchange

On Feb. 14, 2013, the members of the Writing Collaborative presented their ideas to Vicki L. Phillips, Director of Education, College Ready, U.S. Program at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Download a copy of VIVA MET: Reflections from the Classroom – Measures of Effective Teaching

Download Full Report as a PDF

Generally speaking, teachers are visionaries. They work with the belief that they can make a difference in the lives of others. And they give time and energies endlessly into changing what exists today; molding students and the world into something better for tomorrow. Ten of us came together through the MET Project in the last few months to reflect on how our experience changed our own practices and what steps could capitalize on the MET research for all teachers and their students.

We envision a national network of teachers and education professionals that will focus on creating tools and guidance for implementation norms in four major areas: 1) transparency, reliability and alignment of measures of teacher effectiveness/student achievement; 2) increasing teachers’ ability to use data for instruction; 3) financial incentives that reward excellence and 4) dramatically increasing the use of technology for instruction and supporting teaching.

Our reflections are deeply rooted in what we learned about our own effectiveness as teachers. The changes we’ve made in our practices will change the lives of our students today and tomorrow. But as visionaries, the goal is bigger: changing the future. For all teachers and students.

VIVA ISEA Project – Re-Imagining School Leadership for the 21st Century

Download Full Report as a PDF

On December 8, 2012,  members of the VIVA ISEA Teachers Idea Exchange  presented their report Re-Imagining School Leadership for the 21st Century to the board of the Iowa State Education Association. On December 19, 2012,  they presented their ideas to members of Governor Brandstad’s administration.

Download a copy of “Re-Imagining School Leadership for the 21st Century” here.

Executive Summary

Schools of the 21st century cannot be run by principals alone. The stakes—the education of our children and the future of our state—are too high. We must tap the best and brightest among us to be school leaders if we are to give all students the high quality education they deserve.

The leaders of the state of Iowa have recognized this and are looking for ways to entice teachers to take on more leadership responsibilities within schools. We know that teachers are ready for this new challenge. The key is to create a system that allows them to stay firmly rooted in the classroom while also working to meet the bigger needs of the school or district overall.

This report lays out 17 ideas for ways to make Teacher Leadership a sought-after and effective way to run schools. By creating a role for teachers that is something more than classroom instruction but something less than administration, the state can get the best of both worlds: teachers who remain committed to serving their students while also sharing their skills and expertise with others. That is the way to grow the leadership needed to ensure student learning improves.

Recommendations Included in this report:

To be successful, Teacher Leaders must have the confidence of faculty members and administrators. That would be much more likely happen if the Teacher Leaders were chosen via a process that includes input from both teachers and administrators.

While there are many potential Teacher Leadership roles in school—among them modeling best instructional practice, mentoring new teachers, liaising with families, and helping teachers prepare for their evaluations—all roles must be clearly defined to ensure they do not cross into the realm of purely administrative tasks.

Teacher Leaders can provide a low-cost, more effective professional development by using their unique positions in the school or district to disseminate best practice ideas and differentiate professional development to fit the needs of each individual teacher and school.

Teacher Leaders, Teacher Mentors, and Model Teachers can be effective only if they know that their students will continue to thrive academically while their teachers are away performing Teacher Leadership duties. This can easily be accomplished through a variety of approaches, including hiring “permanent subs” for a building or district and bringing in retired teachers as subs.

 Teacher Leaders must be compensated adequately for the additional time they spend fulfilling their leadership duties.