I want to welcome you all to Teaching Channel and tell you how much it means to us to have you use the site and join our community. I also want to let you know what we are up to. Tch has an important mission: to revolutionize how teachers learn, connect and inspire each other—and their communities—to improve student outcomes. In order to accomplish this mission, we have three simple goals: to build teacher-driven professional learning, to deepen and improve opportunities for teacher learning, and to elevate and celebrate teachers in our society. I want to describe what we are doing to create teacher-driven professional learning first, and address the other goals in blog posts to come.
Teacher-Driven Development: I started teaching in 1974—ages ago! Throughout my career, professional development for teachers has been developed and delivered outside of the classroom by often excellent and always well-meaning folks. However, I don’t recall anyone asking me specifically what I needed in order to be more successful with the kids in my class.
We want to begin a conversation directly with you. You can help drive Tch development every time you come to the site to watch videos. Here’s how: hit the feedback button (on the right side of every page) and tell us what you need. Take part in our on-going member surveys that we’re launching next month, and please consider this blog a platform for your comments.
In addition, we are currently recruiting a 250-member Exceptional Teacher Advisory Board to be a voice for all of you across the country. What do we mean by “exceptional?” We are looking for teachers who are deeply committed to improving their practice and in continuing to gain feedback on their work.
These teachers will tell us on a regular and on-going basis what they need; in exchange, we promise to aim our video production and our site development at what they tell us is critical to improving their student’s performance. Each year, a third of the members of this board will roll off allowing us to recruit a new group of the exceptional teachers who exist all over this country.
We believe that if you ask to see practices that you believe will help you improve, and if we are able to capture what those great, rigorous teaching practices look like in classrooms around the country, and if those of you who come to the site find that useful in your efforts to improve your practices, then together, we will give more kids the skills they need to be successful. That is worth doing.
We are creating Tchers’ Voice blog to give more of you the chance to participate in this work. As you look at the students in your classroom tomorrow, think about what you need to be able to better support them. If you tell us, we promise we will do our best to provide the resources and tools you need to grow as a professional to serve the needs of your students.
Pat Wasley, Chief Academic Officer
Pat Wasley is the Chief Executive Officer for Teaching Channel. Pat began her education career as a public school teacher in the U.S. and in Australia. She has been a public school administrator, a researcher, a university professor, and a dean of both the Bank Street Graduate School of Education and the University of Washington College of Education.