Learning While Leading Kickoff!

Ensemble’s Learning While Leading project launched last week with the first cohort meeting with our Los Angeles participants. School leadership teams from fourteen schools enjoyed a day of collaboration and learning that kicked off the project that will help them improve the experience and learning outcomes for English learners. Learning While Leading partners from AIR and BloomBoard joined us to ensure participants were prepared to jump into this exciting work. School leadership teams from other participating regions, San Antonio, Austin, Dallas, and the California bay area, will meet throughout February to launch their work as well.

Time to Reflect and Analyze

These cohort meetings provide the much-needed time and space for education leaders to reflect on their work, analyze data, and plan for improvement. Teams analyzed the qualitative data they gathered from empathy interviews with English learners. Each team member met with at least three students to better understand the experience English learners are having at school. The team discussed and charted up the strengths the students identified as well as the challenges they faced. Then, based on the data, the team established a qualitative goal they would work on throughout the Learning While Leading project.

A school team in the Los Angeles – Elementary group analyzes the data from their empathy interviews to begin to set qualitative goals for English learners at their school.

This was the first step of what will become a robust English learner improvement plan that will guide each school’s work over the next sixteen months. At each subsequent cohort meeting, teams will revisit their plans and add goals and implementation actions based on the content provided at the cohort meetings.

A school leadership team in the Los Angeles – Secondary group charts up the results of their empathy interviews.

Setting the Stage for Future Learning

A large portion of the first meeting was spent determining and understanding participant Myers-Briggs results with the aim of strengthening school leadership teams. All participants shared their 4-letter Myers-Briggs Type Indicator with their team and each team established norms for working together on this project. Each participant left the meeting with a stronger understanding of their own innate strengths and needs as well as insights into how their colleagues may best contribute to the team. Participants will continue to use these team norms over the course of their work with Learning While Leading.

Myers-Briggs expert, Gloria Lee, leads the Los Angeles – Elementary group in an interactive activity that helps them discern a specific aspect of their Myers-Briggs type.

A school team in the Los Angeles – Elementary group discusses their Myers-Briggs types and sets norms for group meetings.

In addition, Ensemble Learning is partnering with BloomBoard, a platform for educator learning and advancement through micro-credentials, to provide personalized, differentiated training that will support the Learning While Leading project. At this first meeting, each participant received training on how to use BloomBoard, and teams began work on their very first micro-credential about distributive leadership.

Two BloomBoard leaders, Kelly Montes De Oca and Ed Vandenberg, introduce micro-credentials to the Los Angeles – Secondary group.

Teams will continue working through this first micro-credential and are able to connect with fellow cohort members via the online BloomBoard platform.

Educators in the Los Angeles – Secondary Group collaborate on the first BloomBoard micro-credential

The school teams participating in the Learning While Leading project will continue their learning, reflection, and improvement work with Ensemble Learning through May 2020. This work is supported by the Supporting Effective Educator Development (SEED) Grant Program from the U.S. Department of Education. For more information on the Learning While Leading project, email Katherine Hamilton at khamilton@ensemblelearning.org or visit the Ensemble Learning website.


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