Warm Wishes for Winter Break
Reflections on 2022
You’ve made it: it’s winter break. Take a deep breath. Enjoy those warm sips of apple cider or hot cocoa, the laughter of holiday festivities, the crackle of a warm fire, or whatever else brings you joy.
This time of year, we hear calls to look ahead—and we will in due time—but there’s also value in pausing, reflecting, and honoring what we’ve been through.
In some ways, 2022 was a return to social and civic life. Classrooms were full. Athletic events, speech and debate competitions, choir concerts, graduations, and so many other cherished activities that bring school communities together resumed (mostly) without disruption. That wasn’t by accident. Educators, school leaders, students, families, and all of you took stock to acknowledge challenges, find new possibilities, and do the work together.
Across the country, there’s been so much to celebrate, even at this time of great change. Here are a few highlighted piece of content from our work this year:
- Proving the promise of professional learning in Chicago: A randomized control trial found that students’ achievement increased significantly after their teachers participated in Leading Educators’ Chicago-based PD program. These findings challenge the misconception that teacher professional development is ineffective and costly—the content and components matter.
- Challenging false choices in selecting diverse texts: Tina De La Fe, a Director of Content and Coaching, wrote about the common pitfalls of diversifying classroom texts. She challenged teachers to think critically about the ways texts can advance representation and access to literacy at the same time.
- Advocating for access to high-quality curricula and aligned support: In The 74, CEO Chong-Hao Fu advocated for equipping teachers to offer challenging, grade-appropriate lessons by providing high-quality instructional materials and professional support to use them well. He argued, “Teachers make the future, but they cannot do it alone.”
- Advancing the knowledge base about the components of effective professional learning: School districts spend billions of dollars each year on professional development for teachers, but do these investments pay off in improved results for students? A research paper on Leading Educators’ teacher leadership fellowships found strong evidence of impact on student achievement and sustained effects over time. This commentary from FutureEd highlights the findings.
As we look to 2023, we want to thank you for all you’ve done to lay the groundwork for the future we all deserve. Our schools, our country, and our world still face many complex challenges, but your actions have made a real difference. Thank you.
In early January, trust that we’ll be in touch. We’ll have exciting news to share about our efforts to reimagine the teaching role, what we’re learning about effective professional learning and curriculum support, and ways our partners are proving what’s possible.
For now, unplug, recharge, and celebrate what you’ve accomplished. You’ve earned it.