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Icon for: Mike Steele

MIKE STEELE

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Milwaukee Master Teacher Partnership

NSF Awards: 1557397

2021 (see original presentation & discussion)

Grades 9-12, Adult learners

The Milwaukee Master Teacher Project (MMTP) is a Noyce Track 3 Master Teacher program focused on supporting the growth and development of urban high school mathematics and science teachers. MMTP uses a microcredential-based approach to developing teacher knowledge and practice. During the first four years of the project, teachers selected areas of mathematics and science content and pedagogy to explore through a scaffolded action research methodology. In the project's culminating year, teachers are planning, enacting, and studying a year-long teacher leadership project that builds on what they have learned throughout the project. The projects involve a diverse set of activities, including curriculum development and implementation, the design and deployment of teacher professional learning, mentoring preservice and early-career teachers, and building- and district-level instructional leadership. In this video, we share how we structured the leadership projects and the voices of the teachers as they have enacted the projects in the midst of a global pandemic.

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Discussion from the 2021 STEM For All Video Showcase (15 posts)
  • Icon for: Cynthia Carson

    Cynthia Carson

    Academic Program Coordinator
    May 11, 2021 | 08:32 a.m.

    Wonderful video! I am curious about your fellows and their experiences as teacher leaders. In what ways has their role as a teacher leader changed in the last year? Did this impact how you structured their leadership projects? 

     
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    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Catherine Horn
  • Icon for: Mike Steele

    Mike Steele

    Lead Presenter
    Professor
    May 12, 2021 | 08:00 p.m.

    We have seen them position themselves in increasingly powerful ways in their districts and schools over the course of the five years, and even more so this year. Several are engaging their staff in professional learning opportunities. Where they’re not in the right social space to do that within their school, they’ve reached out to the broader community and engaged like minded teachers in professional learning at a distance since we are all living in a videoconferencing world these days!

    And please see my comment below if you’d like to hear their takes on this next week!

  • Icon for: Calli Shekell

    Calli Shekell

    Post doctoral fellow
    May 11, 2021 | 09:09 a.m.

    This looks incredible. I'm wondering how your teachers are planning to share the results of their research. Specifically, I'm interested in how they plan to share within their school systems for the benefit of their fellow teachers. 

     
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    Catherine Horn
  • Icon for: Mike Steele

    Mike Steele

    Lead Presenter
    Professor
    May 12, 2021 | 08:11 p.m.

    See my note below - we are having a big panel discussion next week. We have every year invited colleagues and administrators to engage in person in a showcase, although last year’s was on Flipgrid (which went well). It’s been hit or miss to get engagement, but this group of teachers over five years have learned how to make noise and get their colleagues’ attention increasingly. 

  • Icon for: Catherine Horn

    Catherine Horn

    Facilitator
    Moores Professor and Chair
    May 12, 2021 | 03:21 p.m.

    Thanks for your introduction to this project! I especially appreciate that you included the voices of participants in describing its implementation and impacts. I loved that terms like "nimble," "anti-racist," and "data-driven" were all named as important aspects of what this work seeks to stand up. 

    I wonder, based on those descriptions, how you work with teachers to arrive at their projects? How is the learning process of engaging in action research integrated into what I imagine is a broader curricular set of objectives? And where have you found expected (and unexpected) moments of success and struggle as teachers go through this experience? 

    Appreciate the work!

    Cathy

  • Icon for: Mike Steele

    Mike Steele

    Lead Presenter
    Professor
    May 12, 2021 | 08:09 p.m.

    The micro credentials are all built with a bit of learning that we curate up front (for example, learning about high cognitive demand tasks) and then the action research lived within those guardrails each time. 
    For the leadership projects this year, their last micro credential of year 4 was designing and pitching their projects. Many of them changed with the pandemic instructional disruptions, but they all worked from a base of a really strong plan coming into the year. 
    The struggles largely surround teachers balancing full time teaching with the time and space to do the projects. We meet with them in small groups as they’re working to be supportive but I think not being able to sit down and do it in person took a toll this year. But the unexpected successes have been how ambitious and creative they’ve been with their projects this year. (Please come to panel next week if you can - see below!) They really shot for the moon on their projects and we are all so very proud to be their cheerleaders. And a number of them are taking on continuations of their project next year, as we have some money left in the grant to support their work. 

  • Icon for: Catherine Horn

    Catherine Horn

    Facilitator
    Moores Professor and Chair
    May 13, 2021 | 09:39 a.m.

    LOVE this process! Thanks for the detail and for all you are doing!

    cathy

  • Icon for: Christine Royce

    Christine Royce

    Facilitator
    Professor
    May 12, 2021 | 06:11 p.m.

    Lots of information in the video!  Partnering with a school district is a great way to build a network and pathway to keeping your fellows within the district.  The messages from the teachers  within the classroom highlight lots of individuality among the programs that they focused on as part of the program.  I'm interested to know how the teachers were identified to participate in this program and if they are all in the same school (district I did understand) - but I'm wondering how outside of the program itself, how are they interacting and leading, as well as, mentoring new teachers?

  • Icon for: Mike Steele

    Mike Steele

    Lead Presenter
    Professor
    May 12, 2021 | 08:05 p.m.

    We had a competitive application process at the start where they shared video of their teaching and what they hoped to gain.  We have a wide range of size of schools in the district so we looked to get a mix of small teams (4) from the larger ones while providing opportunities for singletons from smaller schools. They’ve partnered and paired with each other flexibly and in interesting ways over the five years, usually starting with colleagues early on but regrouping as they learned each other’s interests and chose different micro credentials to work on together. 
    We have about a quarter of the group working specifically on new teacher mentoring projects this year, and many of the whole group are serving as mentor teachers for students teachers in our program and others. 

  • Icon for: Jill Berg

    Jill Berg

    Facilitator
    Leadership Coach, School Improvement Consultant & Author
    May 12, 2021 | 07:20 p.m.

    It's exciting to see the strategic ways this project aims to tap teachers' expertise through action research.  This leaves me wondering about engagement or awareness of school colleagues.  Are there ways in which the program offers opportunities for principals and other school-level colleagues to develop awareness of what their STEM teachers are learning, and possibly even to find ways to leverage that expertise at the school level?  If principals and teacher leaders don't make deliberate efforts to lead in sync, they will often inadvertently work against each other.

  • Icon for: Mike Steele

    Mike Steele

    Lead Presenter
    Professor
    May 12, 2021 | 07:58 p.m.

    Hi Jill! Thanks for watching. Keeping principals involved and engaged has been a challenge. We’ve had an annual showcase of the work by our participating teachers, but only a few of them are consistently turning up at those opportunities (and we have had a lot of admin turnover over five years). We do have the math and science coordinators at the district’s central office in our facilitation staff, which helps ensure some consistency with the district goals and overall directions in high school math and science. They’ve also been able to operate as cheerleaders/prodders of the admin staff to be engaged. 

  • Icon for: Mike Steele

    Mike Steele

    Lead Presenter
    Professor
    May 12, 2021 | 08:02 p.m.

    Our teachers are THRILLED to invite you to our end of project sharing of their leadership projects in the form of a panel discussion. It takes place next Wednesday, May 19, 6:30-8pm central time and YOU are invited! Please visit our project page to sign up and receive the Zoom invite. 

  • Icon for: Renee Fall

    Renee Fall

    Researcher
    May 13, 2021 | 05:12 p.m.

    Such dedicated and fortunate teachers to have this opportunity. I would love to hear about 2 things: (1) I assume these are math, biology, physics, chemistry, computer science teachers; how do you bridge the disciplinary specifics, if you do, so all can benefit? (2) tell us more about your anti-racist math and science approaches.  Thanks!

  • Icon for: Lindsay Goldsmith-Markey

    Lindsay Goldsmith-Markey

    Graduate Student
    May 16, 2021 | 02:37 p.m.

    This is such an exciting project! We (Responsive Mathematics Teaching Project) work with emerging teacher leaders in a network of under-resourced urban elementary schools to increase their leadership capacity in elementary mathematics teaching and learning--so our projects have a lot in common. I love that in your project's teachers are completing their own research--how empowering!

    I saw that you mentioned in a comment above about the challenges of trying to work on leadership while also balancing work in the classroom. We have found that our teachers who are not at all released (vs. some who are either partially released or fully released) face a different level of challenge than their peers who are often positioned more "officially" as leaders. I'm wondering two things:

    1) Have you learned anything about how to ease this challenge at all for your growing leaders?

    2) Have you noticed anything about teachers' self-concept as leaders throughout this process? Do they identify as leaders now? Did they before? What does identifying as a leader (when still a classroom teacher) look like in your program? Even just anecdotal learnings would be of interest to me!

    Thanks for a great video. 

  • Icon for: Gloriana Gonzalez Rivera

    Gloriana Gonzalez Rivera

    Assistant Professor
    May 17, 2021 | 10:17 a.m.

    I love the leadership component of the project and the opportunity to strengthen their connections with the school community.

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