Michelle Carpenter

Michelle Carpenter

“Teachers need to feel empowered.  We need to use our expertise from within before we seek experts from out. We need to grow the # of NBCT’s and to connect educators with CSTP and to build trust and connection with our district office. We need to ignite the teacher leaders who have been wondering how to make a difference. Through discussing the framework, setting goals and building capacity, this grant will strengthen the teaching profession, starting right here at home.”

District: Walla Walla School District

Award Amount: $5,000.00

Description: My name is Michelle Carpenter. I am a National Board Certified teacher with a renewed certificate as an MC/Gen. In my 20th year of teaching, I currently teaching 5th grade at Green Park Elementary in Walla Walla and am pursuing my administrative credential through Gonzaga. Teacher Leadership has always been one of my passions. I am excited to bring my knowledge and expertise of the CSTP Framework to my school district and ignite the teacher leaders who have been wondering how to make a difference. Through discussing the framework, setting goals and building capacity, this grant will strengthen the teaching profession, starting right here at home.

What was the problem you were trying to solve?
Lack of Teacher Leadership in our district

Why was the work important to your context?

  • Teachers need to feel empowered. We need to use our expertise from within before we seek experts from out.
  • To grow the # of NBCT’s and to connect educators with CSTP.
  • To build trust and connection with our district office.
  • To ignite the teacher leaders who have been wondering how to make a difference. Through discussing the framework, setting goals and building capacity, this grant will strengthen the teaching profession, starting right here at home.

Briefly outline the ‘scope and sequence’ of your work

  • Developed Teacher Leadership team to discuss and synthesize the Teacher Leadership Framework
  • Compile a list of teachers interested in mentor/leadership work
  • Provide 2-day BEST Mentor Academy
  • Follow up meeting with Leadership Team and plan for 16-17 school year

As a result of the work, what are the significant impacts you are able to evidence? (What changed as a result of your work?)

  • 7 teachers introduced to, and inspired by, the TLF
  • Over 30 teachers trained in mentoring/coaching strategies
  • District will be hiring an Induction Coach/Mentor Teacher position
  • District was so pleased with the work, they paid for subs, added an additional stipend for teachers who gave up their Saturday and offered clock hours for the 2-day training

What were your major learnings? (successes and challenges)

  • Dream BIG. Yep–do it!
  • Be flexible.
  • Assume positive intentions
  • Trust the process. Have faith in educators to rise to the occasion and administration to honor that.

What resources did you need to use or to create to support the work?

  • Purchased Teacher Leadership Framework folders (10) Purchased Mentoring Matters books (40)
  • Hired Gail Jessett for 2-day training of BEST Mentor Academy
  • District provided subs, clock hours and a paid Saturday (after the conference this was announced, so it was a pleasant surprise)

As a result of your work, about how many teachers were directly impacted? How do you know?
40. They attended the training and many have continued to inquire about how the work is moving forward.

As a result of your work, about how many teachers were indirectly impacted? How do you know?
100+. Teachers with less than 3 years will be given a mentor. Teachers new to the district will have a trained mentor. The addition of the mentor/coaching position will allow this work to be sustained. Most attendees went back to their building and shared the training with their administrators, their colleagues and their students!

What words of wisdom do you have for the next teacher leader working to increase teacher leadership in their context?
BE RELENTLESS IN YOUR PURSUIT OF GREATNESS AND BE OPEN TO POSSIBILITIES OF WHAT THAT MIGHT LOOK LIKE.
PROMOTING TEACHER LEADERSHIP IS ONE OF THE SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT GOALS OF OUR PROFESSION TO IMPACT STUDENT SUCCESS AND MAINTAIN HIGH TEACHER MORALE.