The mission of the Key BT Program is to engage and empower our creative, innovative, and effective beginning teachers to become collaborative leaders. There’s a lot packed into that sentence and Tuesday, 10/17/17, we started to unpack that mission with the 4th cohort of the Key BT Program.
48 Beginning Teachers selected by their peers last May attended our first meeting. One of the most rewarding aspects of the program is getting to learn with and talk to other creative and innovative teachers in a similar grade span. There are already plans set in place by the participants to continue that collaboration between schools on their own.
The first meeting was designed to set the tone for communicating as a leader. Even our experienced teachers in the Teacher Leadership Institute (TLI) program are cautious of overstepping their roles as teachers when it comes to leading. These teachers have already proven themselves excellent in leading students, however, adults offer a new challenge. In the Key BT program, we limit the range of adults to other BTs, so these leaders lead those who most want to share their experiences.
The morning was spent in the True Colors training, where the focus was using the True Colors personality profile to learn about your own preferences and then how to best communicate with individuals with different preferences.
True Colors uses four colors (Gold, Orange, Blue, and Green) to represent the four personality types. Key BTs took their own inventory to determine their own type and then lined up to determine how they fit into the group. Our Key BT Cohort 4 was overwhelmingly Blue and Gold, which is similar to most educators. The main strength of True Colors is that it provides a common language for teams to use when communicating with each other. Key BTs can determine another BTs preference to spend time getting to know the team and have harmony among the members and know that Blue is an important preference for them. Knowing your own colors also helps to raise awareness to how others may view you and how you can reframe a potential derailer into a strength when you communicate with others. The Key BTs left with an understanding and other strategies how to communicate among other BTs.
When communicating with other adults, it helps to communicate about something that matters. Our Key BTs also started looking at and adding to our New Teacher Handbook and Resource Drive, which is a PCS Teacher Pay Teachers for free. It serves as a holding spot for all the things that Key BTs and other teacher leaders from across the county to share. The power of the google drive comes in sharing information that made prior Key BT successful.
Our Key BTs next meet in December when, they will start working on the advocacy part of the “arch of support”.