Systemic thinking is a natural for this small district
For the Hampton-Dumont Community School District’s Teacher Leadership and Compensation (TLC) program, the role of TLC coordinator has been critical in achieving a systemic approach to school improvement.
“We’re blessed to have a TLC coordinator,” said Todd Lettow, superintendent. “Having one person overseeing the entire program helps facilitate systems thinking.”
Jen Koenen, curriculum director and TLC Coordinator, agrees.
“Having one person lead the TLC work seems to be an advantage over having building principals do it,” she said.
She meets with instructional collaborators weekly; they support each other and have a common implementation plan. In Hampton-Dumont, instructional coaches are called instructional collaborators, because that better describes their roles.
Koenen said TLC has been vital in tackling some of the district’s big initiatives like Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS) and Early Literacy.
“It’s been invaluable in getting the MTSS processes up and running,” she said. “We’re implementing teaching strategies through coaching cycles. We’re also using our professional learning communities to dig into analyzing the standards and reviewing the data from the new assessments.”
Koenen said TLC has been critical in helping the district move through second-order change.
“In Responsibilities of a Leader, Marzano identifies four responsibilities that are negatively charged in second order change: culture, communication, order, and input,” she said. “Those are the things that TLC leaders help principals monitor. Marzano also says that knowledge of curriculum, instruction, and assessment is important in getting through second-order change. Our instructional collaborators share those responsibilities with the principals.”