At NE Basecamp, our mission is to support educators to reimagine teaching - and we’re currently doing that in almost 30 schools in 3 states (Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Connecticut). Over the past three years, our primary work has been helping schools that are implementing personalized learning through the Summit Learning model. In the past week, two articles have been printed, one by Education Week and one by the Providence Journal, that discuss personalized learning and feature schools and teachers that NE Basecamp supports.
I am ecstatic that the amazing work of our schools and teachers is getting recognized. However, I was not surprised by what I read. I’ve been in these schools and classrooms and I’ve seen how personalized learning in general and Summit Learning specifically can positively impact the education of all students… and the teaching experience of teachers.
Both articles also discuss that the process of adopting personalized learning is not an easy road for teachers. The Education Week article quotes Christopher Maher (Superintendent of Providence Public Schools) in stating “the role of the teacher… has moved from instructor to facilitator” and “it’s a big change for teachers.” The Providence Journal article, written by teacher Michael Parrillo, states “the way I had been teaching was challenged… personalized learning transformed my idea of what a classroom should look like.”
So how do we get there? How do we ensure that teachers are capable of shifting their role in the classroom and understanding this new way of teaching? How do we guarantee that new models, like personalized learning and Summit Learning, are able to make the changes in schools that they’re capable of? How do we ensure everyone’s experience is as positive as the teachers’ cited in these articles?
NE Basecamp believes the answers to these questions lies in making certain that teachers are supported by their school leaders, their districts, and by specialists like us at NE Basecamp. Teachers cannot do this work alone in their classrooms - or even after a week of training.
Support means showing up and following up. Support means establishing meaningful relationships with teachers. Support means continued and embedded training and coaching. Support means creating time for educators to collaborate with others who are embarking on this challenging work. Support means building capacity within schools and districts to continue this work. This is what NE Basecamp means when we say we support educators to reimagine teaching, and this is what it takes to ensure personalized learning and Summit Learning are successfully implemented by teachers in our schools and districts.