MATLN Spring Newsletter

Metropolitan Atlanta Teacher Leader Network

Update Your MATLN Membership

The Metropolitan Atlanta Teacher Leader Network is gaining recognition for engaging teacher leaders in collaboration to benefit Georgia students. Two types of membership options will be available for MATLN members effective April 2014.

A Professional Membership will allow members to serve on the board of directors.

Professional Members will also be able to take advantage of conference discounts and they are eligible to represent MATLN at NBPTS functions (ex. Education Nation Town Hall, T&L Conference, etc.) $25.00 per year Professional Membership entitles members to submit articles that will be published in the MATLN Newsletter, become a Georgia Teacher Leader Summit Presenter, or represent the Network Affiliate at National Board for Professional Teaching Standards events.

A free Standard Membership provides electronic updates via our website, Twitter Feed, and Facebook Page. Standard Membership gives educators the opportunity to collaborate with colleagues in our highly regarded organization.

Click the here to update your MATLN membership.

Legislative Update

The "Anti-Common Core " SB157 did not passduring the 2014 Legislative session. Legislators issued a substantial number of concerns with SB157 . The state would have difficulty with validating student achievement data without consistent standards. The bill would have complicated the Teacher Keys Evaluation and the Leader Keys Evaluation System which are both assessed from students level of mastery of the GA Common Core Standards.

$314 Million Dollar Education increase will be earmarked for restoring the school year and reversing class size increases. HR550, a proposed a constitutional amendment to allow local school systems to elect school superintendents failed to pass.

Georgia legislators are also realizing that the testing system in Georgia needs to be revamped to take less time away from teaching and learning. There is also a renewed focus on providing new avenues for professional learning to increase teacher effectiveness.

A panel from the Georgia Professional Standards Commission unveiled features of the Tiered Certification System during PAGE Inc. Capital Hill Day. As of now, NBPTS Cetified Teachers will be eligable for Advanced Professional Certification or Lead Professional Certifications. Learn more about tiered certification from the GPSC here.

See a recap of the 2014 Legislative session from PAGE Inc. here..

Heavenly Montgomery

MATLN Coordinator

Why should I help?

We have an opportunity to support the National Board and our profession.

As you may be aware, the process for achieving National Board Certification is being revised. These changes will retain the rigor while making certification accessible to more teachers and incorporating the latest research on best practices in teaching. Field tests to help validate the proposed changes will begin in May 2014. We need thousands of teachers, both NBCTs and non-NBCTs, to participate. Three components of the new process will be field tested: Content Knowledge, Teaching Practice and Learning Environment, and Effective and Reflective Practitioner.

Detailed information, including a link to the application, is available on the NBPTS website and volunteering to be part of the field test is easy. Just complete the short application linked to the webpage. We will begin to notify volunteers who are selected to take part in the field test later this month.

Taking part in the field tests is a way to help our profession by strengthening the National Board process. Let's continue to work together to support each other and most importantly, our students.

What are the benefits of participating in the field tests?

Non-NBCTs- For anyone who may be interested in seeking National Board certification in the future, participating in a field test will provide an inside look into the process. It affords a no-cost, no-risk practice run on a component.

NBCTs- NBCTs who want to support candidates as they go through the process can participate in one or more field tests to have first-hand experience with the new process. Participation in a field test provides a professional learning opportunity which could be used to document how teachers are members of learning communities. Learn more and apply now at on the National Board website.

Nominate New Board Members

It is time to nominate members to the MATLN Board of Directors. Please nominate people that will actively work to move the organization forward. Nomination Form

The Teacher Leader

What is a teacher leader? It is a relatively new term used to describe the catalyst in a school culture who extends the capacity of building administrators. Instructional Coaches, Data Specialists, and Curriculum Specialists are examples of teacher leaders in vital formal roles. Teachers do not have to have special titles to be leaders though. Talented teachers across the nation inspire colleagues and build capacity in their faculties every day. Teacher leaders bring synergy among groups of teachers. These knowledgeable educators also support and mentor fledgling teachers. Teacher leaders model best educational practices consistently. Teacher leaders build their own scholarship and share knowledge with others. They build relationships with all stakeholders in schools and surrounding communities. Teacher leaders can provide compass points to guide decisions at the school or district level.

Ironically, teacher leadership is not recognized or encouraged by many principals. Teacher Leaders are underutilized and even discouraged from leading in many cases. The untapped talent and intuitiveness of savvy teachers can fortify professional learning communities. How can school districts cultivate teacher leadership? The spirit of a teacher leader is more encompassing than a course or an add-on certification. The tenacity required to be a teacher leader can be nourished by offering opportunities collaboration and empowerment.

The Six Talents

Powerful Designs for Professional Learning Edited by Lois Brown Easton gives a clear template for school based professional learning that will ignite the spirit of the teacher leader. They can be given the opportunity to lead professional learning in the form of book study, peer observation, and other forms of collaboration. Sharing best practices is the way to get teachers to apply best practices. Teacher leaders should try to become proficient in the six talents that are embedded in a career that is already extremely challenging. I call them talents because some leaders exhibit the qualities intuitively. The option to fortify the six talents can reignited an ebbing flame of excitement for teaching. Teachers who feel isolated often consider leaving the teaching profession. Refining the six talents could rejuvenate a career in education. Teacher leadership provides an option for growth without forcing teachers to leave the classroom. The six talents are scholarship, mentorship, consultancy, instructional model, leader, and collaborator.

The nation is looking for an answer to the problems in public education. The answer is teacher leadership.

Heavenly Montgomery

Who We Are

The Metropolitan Atlanta Teacher Leader Network (MATLN) seeks to promote the effective application of National Board Teaching standards through greater awareness and understanding.

The organization is committed to enhancing public education in Georgia.

We are committed to on-going support for teacher leaders seeking to make a difference in their professional learning communities and for their students.

Upcoming Events

May 2014 - Board Election

May 2014 - NBCT Wave Webinar

June 2014 - Board Meeting

November 2014 - Georgia Teacher Leader Summit

Please submit a story for our May issue!

Contact Heavenly Montgomery for more information.

Volume 1 April 2014 Issue 1