Photo courtesy of Allison Shelley/The Verbatim Agency for American Education: Images of Teachers and Students in Action
A unique collaboration between Boston’s district, charter, and Catholic school sectors is helping educators share best practices and quickly implement effective strategies at their own schools.
The Boston Educators Collaborative is the result of a partnership between PIE Network member Teach Plus Massachusetts and the Boston Compact. This initiative offers Boston educators free, teacher-led professional learning courses in three main categories: support for reaching all learners, culturally proficient strategies, and rigorous curricula with rich content. Each course includes opportunities to unpack research and best practices, then collaboratively plan for implementation of new strategies.
Since its initial six-course pilot in spring 2017, the Boston Educators Collaborative has greatly expanded its reach. The total number of courses offered since the pilot will soon reach 40, and course organizers expect more than 250 Boston teachers to participate in spring 2018. Recent course offerings include trauma-informed teaching, social emotional learning, integrating language arts into STEM, and developing mathematical thinking.
Many Collaborative participants have returned for additional courses and encouraged their colleagues to join. As course participation grows, it’s also becoming a pipeline for identifying talented educators to lead future course offerings. Sasha Zuflacht, Teach Plus’ regional program manager, said she hopes that the initiative will continue to elevate teachers into positions of leadership, and also build an ongoing cycle of teacher participants, teacher leaders, and teacher leader mentors.
According to Teach Plus, the Collaborative is built on the premise that empowering exceptional teachers from across Boston’s school sectors and leveraging their content expertise is integral to ensuring excellent instruction for all students.
“It’s not about what sector you’re in…it’s about best practices for teaching and serving students in Boston,” said Rachel Weinstein, chief collaboration officer for the Boston Compact.
Learn more about the Boston Educators Collaborative and other cross-sector partnerships in a new analysis of the national landscape on instructional collaboration. The Center for Reinventing Public Education recently released Passing Notes: Learning from Efforts to Share Instructional Practices Across District-Charter Lines, which includes case studies of collaboration efforts in Boston, Chicago, and New York City.