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June 14, 2018

#TeachFactor Summer Reads

Hear advice from Superintendent Dr. Saul Hinojosa of Somerset ISD, TX, about how to make dramatic improvements in your schools.

By now, you've heard about The Teach Factor—our new initiative focusing on the most important factor leading to excellent teaching and student success: teacher leadership. As we move into the summer months, we've collected several tips and resources our Teach Factor Fellows are following this summer to become better leaders for their classrooms, schools and districts. Follow #TFFSummerBreak and #TeachFactor on social media to hear more from our Fellows.


What We're Reading

  1. Some teachers will use their summers to build support for their schools. On the reading list for Kevin George, superintendent of St. John Parish in Louisiana? "Schools Cannot Do It Alone: Building Support for America's Public Schools" by Jamie Vollmer.
  2. Lori Line, principal at West Goshen Elementary, Indiana, will be reading books by Paul Bambrick-Santoyo, including "Leverage Leadership" and "Driven by Data."
  3. As a Teach Factor Fellow, Corrie Callahan, master teacher at Abraham Lincoln Elementary in Perry Township, Indiana, is always looking for ways to become a better leader. That's why she'll read "Leadership Redefined" by Dave Weber this summer.
  4. The PIRATE guides espouse: "We are always better together." With a strong school culture top of mind, Geneva Salinas, principal at Barrera Elementary in Somerset ISD, Texas, will read "Lead Like a PIRATE: Make School Amazing for Your Students and Staff" by Shelley Burgess and Beth Houf.
  5. Like many of our Teach Factor Fellows, Superintendent Saul Hinojosa of Somerset ISD, Texas, is using his summer to focus on teacher leadership. He plans to read "The 360 Degree Leader" by John C. Maxwell.

How We're Becoming Better Leaders

  1. Even after five years of being a formal teacher leader, Angel Hardaway, instructional coach at North City School in Athens, Tennessee, uses her summers to find ways to improve. She recommends talking to your principal about expectations for a teacher and urges teachers to keep a growth mindset going into summer: "As a teacher leader, you must always strive to grow so you can help those around you grow!"
  2. Collaboration is key to teacher leadership. Joni Readout, master teacher at Central Decatur Junior-Senior High in Iowa, is using the summer to share resources with other teachers and to make a plan of action for collaboration in the school year ahead. "Decide how you are going to share effective strategies happening in the classroom with your fellow teachers," she says. That could be a blog post, meetings with teachers, strategy sessions, lunches out, or more!
  3. Lori Line recommends using the summer for critical thinking. "Take time to reflect on yourself as a leader," she says. She also advises reading articles, books and other materials about being a leader in the classroom.

Tell Us About Your Summer Plans

What are you doing this summer to become a better teacher leader? Share your plans on social media using #TeachFactor. And visit The Teach Factor website to hear stories from our Fellows. We will launch new videos every month, so check back often!