As always, you have that special touch for finding the heart of the matter and offering such insight for moving forward with new understanding.
Reeves seems to make the point that feedback is critical in successful professional development for teachers. I would agree, with heart and soul. Yet, I am disheartened to point out the enormous challenge in providing insightful feedback to teachers. In my role (not really in the classroom, not totally out of it, either) I am becoming more aware of the challenges our administrators have in “being everything to everyone.” I strongly support hybrid roles for teacher leaders. We need our curriculum experts and veteran teachers to be available to share, mentor, support, and provide non-threatening feedback to our teachers. We need a team of experts to conference with struggling teachers to diagnose problems and prescribe solutions. And we must have follow-up sessions after new strategies have been implemented. While a principal is responsible for his/her school, teacher development is simply too important to hope he or she will have time to do it. We must understand that this need must be met differently in order to achieve a different, better result.
I look forward to the leaders from Alabama accepting the challenge to reform our schools by using the most valuable resource it has ready and waiting to serve – teacher leaders.
Thank you again for your leadership and inspiration, Cathy.