Building Teacher Leadership Pathways Through Video (Learning Forward)

Thinking about how to support teacher leadership in your school? You’ll want to hear from Suzanne McGahey and Valerie Minor from the Keller Independent School District (TX).

The two school leaders presented at the Learning Forward 2021 Annual Conference in Dec. 2021 and shared how they use video to build teacher leadership pathways.

Watch the full presentation above, and read on for highlights, including how video helped set the stage for goal setting and reflection.

Climbing the teacher leadership L.A.D.D.E.R.

Through an initiative called L.A.D.D.E.R., a cohort of educators used Edthena for video observations and reflections to improve their practice and grow more as school-based leaders.

Suzanne McGahey, a K-12 social studies coordinator, noted that there are many methods for supporting teachers wanting to leave the classroom.

However, there often isn’t a way for teachers to grow continually in their classrooms and simultaneously develop leadership skills. That’s why L.A.D.D.E.R was born.

powerpoint slide with acronym L.A.D.D.E.R. for post about teacher leadership

Teachers applied to the cohort and after summer training, set goals for their classroom growth.

Then, they used video observations and reflections to work on those goals with feedback from others in the cohort.

Though teachers were initially nervous about capturing their instruction on video, it ultimately “was a blessing.”

Suzanne McGahey shared that teachers became comfortable with video quickly.

“[Teachers] keep asking to do more video reflections. … One of our teachers said that it is the observation that has the lowest risk but the highest reward,” she said.

Valerie Minor, Coordinator of Professional Learning and Leadership at Keller ISD, noted that teachers reflected that feedback in the Edthena Video Coaching platform was “the most valuable” they’ve received.

“It’s absolutely the most personalized experience we can offer our teachers,” Valerie Minor enthused.

Both presenters emphasized, “The use of video coaching has been vital in supporting and growing teacher leadership.”

Advice to other teacher leadership programs

Valerie Minor and Suzanne McGahey offered advice to other schools and districts building similar programs.

  1. Start with a small group of teachers before expanding.
  2. Teachers should have ownership over setting their own goals and tracking their growth.
  3. Cohorts should be grouped based on goals, not simply teacher grade level or subject area.

Video coaching helps teachers improve their practices and leadership skills at the same time.

Read more reflections about video coaching from Valerie and Suzanne.

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