What Are We Up To?

Teacher leadership in the news! A collection of news stories about important issues in education and articles from Mount Holyoke Programs in Teacher Leadership.


Mount Holyoke College's Master of Arts in Teacher Leadership co-hosted a Twitter chat on a teacher's role in education policy on Thursday, February 16 from 7-8 pm EST. Our graduate students have been working on designing and building their Professional Learning Networks (PLNs), and this was one more step for us to try out our Twitter skills in our first chat! Special thanks to the Brevard County Teacher Leadership Council and Christina Donohue for this opportunity.





 ESSA Education Week Webinar

As part of a nationwide survey conducted in late 2016, the Education Week Research Center asked teachers and district leaders to share their views on the ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act) transition. This webinar highlights findings from the survey, which examined ESSA’s impact on accountability, funding, and other key dimensions of education policy. Survey respondents identified the types of support their districts need to put ESSA’s requirements into practice and offered advice to state policymakers regarding implementation plans. The results shed light on the opportunities and challenges ahead as educators move toward full implementation in the 2017-18 school year.

Guest Speakers:

Megan M. Allen, author, An Edugeek's Guide to K-12 Practice and Policy

Douglas N. Harris, author, Urban Education: Lessons From New Orleans

Sterling Lloyd, senior research associate, Education Week Research Center


Holly Yettick, director, Education Week Research Center

To watch the free recording of the webinar, please register here.

Photo courtesy of the US Department of Education.

Class view

Six of the best teachers in the country have teamed up to inspire and instruct their peers in teacher leadership as part of Mount Holyoke College’s master of arts (MAT) in teaching program. 

“It is unheard of to have so many state teachers of the year working in one place,” Allen said. “Our partnership with the National Network of State Teachers of the Year made this possible.” 

Designed for full-time professionals, the MAT with a concentration in teacher leadership is an online coed program that aims to develop and support teachers, empowering them to become leaders with the skills to improve education without having to leave the classroom. The degree program is offered through the College’s Professional and Graduate Education office. 

Read more here.

Hey, Cohort 2! Some announcements just for you! (Also for the curious...our teacher-leaders-in-residence and course dates for this summer are above!).


Partnerships between teacher education and public schools

How can colleges of education better support the needs of our public school teachers?

Simply put: By knowing exactly what those needs are.

By moving in sync with working teachers--by knowing and feeling the ebbs and flows, the ups and downs of the classroom.

So how can we help colleges of education know exactly what those needs are?

We should preface by saying that we hear the lyrics from "Don't Rock the Boat" playing in the backs of our minds. This idea is not new...teacher leaders and education advocates have been rallying around this for years. But it needs to be mentioned again, for the "change train" hasn't budged much (yet). So maybe we need to rock the boat in order to make this happen.

We need more public educators working in higher education, teaching our pre-service teachers. Working as the conduit between K-12 and higher education. We need educators working inside higher education, and more colleges of education classes working inside public education. One way to make this happen: educators-in-residence.

Read more on Larry Ferlazzo's blog for Ed Week Teacher at http://blogs.edweek.org/teachers/classroom_qa_with_larry_ferlazzo/2016/01/response_colleges_of_ed_can_make_lifetime_commitments_to_working_teachers.html


We need education leaders

What issues do women face in education? "Turns out, though I have worked in an almost all female schools, the education leadership playgrounds that I run in are just the opposite. As a woman, I'm still fighting for equal footing for my gender." Read more on Classroom Q and A with Larry Ferlazzo here.



Mount Holyoke College’s Professional and Graduate Education (PaGE) division has launched a new master of arts in teacher leadership program aimed at training and enhancing the professional learning of teachers within their own schools.

“This groundbreaking program helps teachers to develop better professional learning experiences and to cultivate leadership among their peers while getting key decision-makers on board,” said Megan Allen, a National Board Certified Teacher and Florida's 2010 teacher of the year, who leads the Master of Arts in Teacher Leadership program for PaGE.

Read more here.


“We will engineer authentic action-items in data-driven schools.”

“We will streamline revolutionary decision-making within the core curriculum.”

“We will strategize innovative functionalities through cognitive disequilibrium.”

No, those aren’t statements created by a team of “eduformers” after pouring over data, research, and discussing solutions to fix the latest reform disaster. And no, those statements aren’t easy to understand. And don’t worry if those statements seem nonsensical…they are!

Curious about the most overused edu-speak in education? We were!

Ladies and gentlemen, here are the top 17 pieces education jargon you may never want to hear again (countdown style), from the informal and punchy research lab at Mount Holyoke Programs in Teacher Leadership.


From an article titled "U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan Promises To 'Accelerate' Teach to Lead Leadership Program by Sarah Guaglione on iSchoolGuide.com:

Secretary Duncan founded Teach to Lead in March 2014 at the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards' inaugural Teaching & Learning conference. The Teach to Lead program encourages teachers to come up with ideas to promote teacher leadership in schools and offers them support for implementation, according to Education Week. 

Secretary Duncan's support, while powerful, has it's limitations. In an interview with Education Week at the conference last month, he noted that "there's no huge pot of funding" for Teach to Lead. The program relies on financial support from nonprofit and private-sector organizations.

Need a laugh? Try this satire: Genius Hour Makes Teacher Redundant. 

Teacha introduced Genius Hour to her class at Private Tization Charter Elementary School last September. “Within a few weeks, students had written code to develop a new version of ‘Angry Birds,’ built an app that helps reunite veterans with dogs they had saved during combat, and created a vaccine to help prevent Ebola,” she said. “I even had a duo who figured out how to fix glitches in several of the state websites for Obamacare! We were moving and grooving. It was a huge success. Perhaps too big of a success.”
Read the whole article here and enjoy the chuckle.

"The eternal optimist in me thinks that ... we're at a tipping point where we're realizing that we cannot have those outside education, with no education background, with no education experience, leading the path for our public education students," said Megan M. Allen, the director of programs in teacher leadership at Mount Holyoke College, in South Hadley, Mass. "We've got to be smarter than that, and let our teachers—our experts—lead the charge." 

Read more on Mount Holyoke Programs in Education Week by clicking here. (Photo courtesy of Ed Week)