The Arkansas Public School Resource Center (APSRC) teacher-leadership model, Above and Beyond the Core, trains K–12 teacher leaders to support other teachers in improving their Common Core State Standards (CCSS)-aligned practices. APSRC teachers recognize the positive impact of teacher-to-teacher support and, through this Teacher Practice Networks grant, APSRC helps teacher leaders in rural districts of Arkansas and Oklahoma to use digital media strategies as a way to amplify this teacher support.
Strategies for Advancing Common Core
Using its train-the-trainer model, APSRC is helping 50 Arkansas and Oklahoma teacher leaders learn to effectively facilitate professional learning on CCSS-aligned instructional practices in literacy and mathematics. In this process, teacher leaders model how to coach one-to-one with colleagues, lead discussions on CCSS-aligned practices in a virtual learning environment, and conduct train-the-trainer sessions at regional professional learning events. They also share their expertise on how to create effective CCSS-aligned course materials by integrating current curricula with frameworks from the Literacy Design Collaborative and the Math Design Collaborative. The networks of teachers reached will, in turn, implement the same sort of training at their sites.
To share teacher-developed curricula and support teachers with CCSS-aligned practices more broadly, teacher leaders blog, lead discussions on Facebook, and host Twitter Town Hall meetings.
Teacher Leadership Capacity
Throughout the year, teacher leadership trainings develop participating teachers’ leadership skills and help them successfully transition into their new roles. These trainings provide teacher leaders a chance to learn how to lead professional learning communities, model instructional strategies, develop their “teacher voice” about their professional practice, and utilize a variety of media in supporting their colleagues.
APSRC plans to partner with Oklahoma Public School Resource Center and expand into Oklahoma to develop and grow a cadre of teacher leaders that supports CCSS implementation. APSRC is seeking agreement from Arkansas and Oklahoma for teacher leaders to be recognized as professional development providers and for participating teachers to earn district-level professional development credit.
APSRC will strengthen partnership with the Arkansas State Teachers’ Association and the Southern Regional Education Board.
Arkansas Public School Resource Center
1401 West Capitol, Suite 315
Little Rock, AR 72201
Barbara Hunter Cox, Director of Teaching and Learning
2013 – 2015 Initiative of the Arkansas Public School Resource Center
Primary Grant Focus
Arkansas Public School Resource Center’s (APSRC) primary goal for this BMGF initiative is to continue support for public schools as they transition to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) under its three-year initiative, Achieving By Changing (ABC). Adding to its standard member services of advocacy and technical assistance, ABC aims to change classroom practice and prepare teachers in Arkansas charter schools and rural school districts to meet the rigors of the new standards.
Strategies for Supporting Common Core Success
Through ABC, Arkansas Public School Resource Center is using web-based technology and CCSS-aligned resources to increase its capacity to reach teachers in rural school districts and charter schools participating as APSRC network schools and districts. Moving its professional learning and resources to a web-based environment, including social learning platforms, enables Arkansas teachers to connect to Common Core experts, communicate with other teachers, and receive online coaching in a Google hangout. Such online options make it possible for teachers in remote, rural districts to connect with other educators to exchange instructional ideas and garner support, especially in areas where professional learning resources are limited. ABC network teachers in participating districts and schools have full access to the ABC digital library of resources, including CCSS-aligned units of study and videotaped professional learning sessions, for asynchronous learning through the Above and Beyond the Corewebsite (www.aboveandbeyondthecore.com). Teachers are encouraged to provide leadership to peers and to utilize any of the online resources and tools to mentor others in the change process.