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The Power of Teacher Networks
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The Power of Teacher Networks

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March 2009 | 144 pages | Corwin
'When teachers network, they become a social force for the good of society and each child in their classrooms. This book is a must-read for anyone who cares about teaching and teacher development'

Mary M. Brabeck, Dean and Professor of Applied Psychology , Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, New York University

'This book is essential for anyone interested in the future of public education in America. Embedded in the notion that teachers are the solution, not the problem, this book explores how teachers can create a vision, find a voice, manage a growing network, and make a difference. Surely there is nothing more important as we grapple with how best to move forward' —Bill Cirone, Superintendent

Santa Barbara County Education Office, CA

'This resource makes a most compelling case for the centrality of professional community to excellent teaching. It provides a ringing clarion call for teacher collaboration and for grounding educational policy in the real world of the classroom and the school. Part how-to manual for building teacher networks and part chronicle of the authors' successful work, this book sets forth a vision for the transformation of our nation's schools through the development of teacher voices'

Randi Weingarten, President

American Federation of Teachers

When connected through inter-school networks, teachers can communicate with each other and share invaluable information and ideas across district and state boundaries, ultimately enhancing both their own effectiveness and student learning. This step-by-step guide shows you how to create, manage, and sustain a teacher network or grow an existing one, and provides an easily adaptable model developed by The Teachers Network.

The book includes teacher vignettes and director and advisors' experiences in managing a network, plus a wealth of worksheets, tools, and resources to get you started. Practical guidelines illustrate how networks can:

- Support new teachers, reduce teacher isolation, and increase retention rates

- Share the benefits of collaborative group work, including action research

- Enhance professional practice and nurture teacher leaders

- Connect teachers to the goals and ideals that drew them into education

Teachers working together can not only make a significant impact on their school communities, but also strengthen the influence that teacher leaders can have in the wider arena of educational policy.


 
Foreword by Stephanie Hirsh
 
Preface
 
Acknowledgments
 
About the Authors
 
Introduction
 
1. The Case for Networks
What Joining TNLI Did for Our Work

 
Why Form a Network?

 
Concluding Thoughts

 
 
2. Creating a Vision
Naming the Problem

 
Envisioning the Future

 
Speaking With One Voice

 
What You Can Do--The Future Is Now

 
 
3. Finding a Voice
The Journey Begins

 
Seeing Teachers as the Solution, Not the Problem

 
Charting the Course

 
Managing a Network

 
 
4. Raising Your Voice
The Journey Continues

 
Managing a Growing Network

 
 
5. Making a Difference
A Menu of Activities

 
Why Teachers Like to Do Action Research

 
Feedback: How Do You Know You Are Making a Difference?

 
 
6. Where Do We Go From Here?
A Need for Change

 
The Future of Teaching

 
 
Appendices
 
TNLI Recommended Reading List
 
References
 
Index

"This book makes a most compelling case for the centrality of professional community to excellent teaching. It provides a ringing clarion call for teacher collaboration and for grounding educational policy in the real world of the classroom and the school. Part how-to manual for building teacher networks and part chronicle of the authors' successful work, The Power of Teacher Networks sets forth a vision for the transformation of our nation’s schools through the development of teacher voice."

Randi Weingarten, President
American Federation of Teachers

"Offers useful and usable knowledge that can change the way teachers work. The authors offer specific strategies for building teacher networks to enhance student achievement. When teachers network, they become a social force for the good of society and each child in their classroom. This book is a must-read for anyone who cares about teaching and teacher development."

Mary M. Brabeck, Dean and Professor of Applied Psychology
Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, New York University

"The Teachers Network, one of the most effective professional development organizations in education, has much to teach us. Ellen Meyers and her colleagues explain how supporting, connecting, and investing in teachers provides the best hope for our nation’s public schools. Their invaluable work, distilled to its essence in these pages, creates opportunities for teachers to work collaboratively with colleagues, to learn from one another about how to teach better, and through that professional growth to remain committed to education. The authors show us how to do it."

Linda Darling-Hammond, Charles E. Ducommun Professor of Education
Stanford University

"This book is a must-read for anyone interested in the future of public education in America. Embedded in the notion that teachers are the solution, not the problem, this book explores how teachers can create a vision, find a voice, manage a growing network, and make a difference. Surely there is nothing more important as we grapple with how best to move forward."

Bill Cirone, Superintendent
Santa Barbara County Education Office, CA
Key features

The step-by-step chapters take readers through the process of creating, managing, and sustaining a network:

  • Engaging in network activities
  • Using technology to connect
  • Disseminating research
  • Partnering with other organizations
  • Developing relationships with policymakers, and more

The book showcases voices from the Teachers Network Leadership Insitute, including:

  • Teachers' vignettes about joining a network and how it has made a difference in their work inside and outside the classroom
  • Directors and advisors' pivotal experiences around the process of managing a network

 

Sample Materials & Chapters

Introduction

Chapter 1


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