Portraits in Partnership: The Power of Building Teacher Collaboration (Implementing KLT, Part Four)

Just about two years ago we began a blog series that followed the implementation of Keep Learning on Track® (KLT®), our formative assessment, teacher professional development solution, at Sheffield-Sheffield Lake School District in Ohio. We shared then-Assistant Superintendent, Linda Uveges’, reasons for selecting the KLT teacher PD solution, her thoughts as she kicked off the program with her teachers, and how the program was put to work in the classroom.

This final post in the series will share her thoughts as the program hit its two year mark, and the power of collaboration to transform teacher practice. Teacher Learning Communities (TLCs) differ from what most educators know as Professional Learning Communities (PLCs), in that TLCs are designed to support teachers in changing what they do in the classroom during instruction – getting better at what they do minute-to-minute and day-by-day.  This occurs through teacher collaboration about new learnings and sharing practices. In this way, TLCs can be unique to each teacher based on what works for them, their students and the classroom dynamic.

Much of the success of the KLT program, for Linda, lies in the support system and teacher collaboration that it fosters.

Every month they’re going to meet and if there’s a formative assessment strategy that someone is doing in their classroom that is working well, we’d allow them release time to go into that classroom and watch it in action. This support system meant that if something wasn’t working, they had this collegial support that gave them the ability to speak out and seek help.

These classroom ‘walk-abouts’ as Linda calls them really help drive home not only the formative assessment strategies and how they’re executed but the bigger picture of KLT that is the team mentality.

KLT is bigger than just the concept of formative assessment. It’s broken down barriers that previously existed prior to starting two years ago and given them a sense of camaraderie that has shown results. Even the ‘Negative Nellies’ that were perhaps pushed to participate have really bought into the program.

Check out the video of Linda below as she talks about KLT and how it made a difference in her school district.

Linda Bertsch-Uveges on the Power of KLT from NWEA on Vimeo.