Join a community of peers to excavate the intangibles of teaching, aligning mission, vision, methods, decisions, and student work in a comprehensive, personal language of practice to share the why, what, and how of powerful instruction.
More than any other school factor, teachers impact student learning, growth, and success. As such, they are the single most important and qualified contributors to the knowledge and skills that define teaching. The work of teaching is complex, situated in context, and artful; however, the pace of teaching can keep excellent practice shrouded in mystery. As teachers navigate a given day – planning their lessons, making thousands of in-the-moment decisions, and supporting students, colleagues, and families – their individual strengths, agility, and responsiveness are the engine of their classrooms. Yet, to deepen their own practice and that of others, educators need to be able to share their knowledge, insights, and questions – making what is intangible, tangible.
Articulating the Intangibles of Teaching: Aligning Your Purpose and Practice for Instructional Leadership is designed to help you surface your purpose, navigate the ways in which it does or does not come alive within your work as a teacher or teacher leader, and articulate your language of practice to be able to share with students, parents, and colleagues.
Now, more than ever, with an abundance of new variables – many of which are ever-changing – teachers are asking themselves: how can I, in the face of whatever the context or situation might demand, both ensure students are receiving my best self and teaching, and seek the support I need to accomplish my goals? Surfacing and understanding your purpose is not only helpful as a guide for your efforts as a teacher or teacher leader, but also crucial in fortifying yourself in the face of uncertainty or competing demands.
In this course, join Harvard faculty who work directly with beginning and veteran teachers to hone their teaching and instructional leadership practice. You’ll contribute your own expertise and learn from that of your fellow practitioners as you address the following questions:
- How do we make great teaching visible so that it can be reflected on and shared beyond an individual’s classroom to improve our personal practice and that of others?
- More importantly, how do we do that without minimizing or compromising the complexity of content, context, and relationships inherent in individual classrooms and instructional decisions?
The course is divided into six one-week modules that traverse the layers of practice that inform great teaching. Each week consists of approximately three hours of online work and one practice challenge, during which you will be asked to apply your learning in your real-world context. Through the weekly modules you’ll uncover the why, what, and how of your instruction, excavating the intangibles of teaching, to align mission, vision, methods, decisions, and student work in a comprehensive, personal language of practice.
- Week 1: Finding Your Why
- Week 2: Framing Your Vision
- Week 3: Routines for Purposeful Practice
- Week 4: Strategies for Purposeful Practice
- Week 5: Artifacts of Purposeful Practice
- Week 6: Aligning Your Practice
- Surface and reconnect with your personal purpose or mission for teaching and how it drives your practice
- Reflect on your personal practice, share signature moves, and learn from others
- Understand and be able use protocols for continuing to develop a language of practice through deep investigation of routines, strategies, and student work
- Consider how an emerging language of practice can be foundational to mentoring, coaching, and instructional team relationships in service of growing our collective work as leaders of learning
- Develop a plan to share your learning with students, parents, and colleagues through your work in classrooms and as your skills for instructional leadership grow
Who Should Participate
- Teacher leaders or teachers with an interest in leadership
- Education professionals who support teachers in their work, such as mentors, instructional coaches, grade-level or department leads, supervisors, or teachers in other leadership roles