Collaboration -- what does that word mean to you? To us -- it's a powerful word that can not solve each and every problem in our schools today, yet collaboration is one way we are bringing to the forefront what each of us know as educators and to use that information to improve teaching and learning at Benton Community School District.
Roland Barth challenges educators, "I wonder how many children's educational experiences would be different if we educators disclosed what we know to each other" (Barth, 2001, p.60). At Benton Community our CL/DT process is committed to developing our collective capacity. We do this by developing our own and our colleagues' expertise so, that every student in our system achieves and benefits from our sharing and working with one another.
According to Learning Forward's definition of professional development, effecting professional learning "is conducted among educators at the school and facilitated by well-prepared school leaders" (www.learningforward.org/standfor/definition.cfm). Our teacher leaders model, facilitate, advocate for, and support ongoing professional development within our system -- but the real key to change within our system is when we see ALL our staff doing the same.