by Dr. Jon Sheldahl, Chief Administrator
The flowers are in bloom and the Chicago Cubs are 9 games below .500 so it must be May Day in the Great State of Iowa. This spring brings something new to Iowa’s educational landscape though, as the Iowa Teacher Leadership Supplement (TLS) program is officially off the ground. Districts representing one-third of Iowa’s school aged students have been selected to begin implementing teacher leadership programs this coming school year. Over the course of the following two school years (2015-16 and 2016-17), nearly all of Iowa’s school districts will be involved in the business of utilizing teacher leadership positions to improve student achievement through strengthening instruction and instructional leadership. Most districts in Iowa are already well into implementing the foundational components that will help support TLS. Implementing the Iowa Core Standards and Curriculum is helping Iowa schools address the “what” of continuous school improvement. Using RTI or Multi-Tiered Systems of Supports is addressing the “how” . TLS will address the “who” of continuous improvement by creating a network of highly qualified teacher leaders able to provide instructional coaching and otherwise engage all of Iowa’s teachers in a model of collaborative inquiry.