The recent panel discussion at PNW BOCES, hosted by LeiLani Cauthen, CEO of Learning Counsel, brought together education leaders to delve into the challenges and opportunities of educational innovation. The panelists, including Dr. Colin Byrne, Dr. Jeremy Luft, and Dr. James Kaishian, shared their experiences and perspectives on model constraints, fostering teacher collaboration, and redefining teaching in the present age.

The first discussion point centered around the challenges of model constraints and the necessity of innovation. Dr. Byrne emphasized the importance of a holistic plan when transforming educational models. He highlighted the need for a methodical approach, involving collaboration with internal and external resources. Slowly chipping away at the constraints ensures everyone understands and supports the desired changes, creating a foundation for sustainable progress.

Dr. Luft advocated for a model that encourages teachers to learn from each other. By creating systems that empower lead teachers to share their knowledge and craft, districts can build internal strength and foster a collaborative teaching environment. Dr. Kaishian added that developing internal expertise is crucial, tapping into the experience and credibility of educators who understand the district's unique culture and idiosyncrasies.

LeiLani Cauthen then steered the discussion towards the role of leadership in defining teaching in the present age. Dr. Byrne emphasized the shift from merely relaying information to actively helping students progress. Conceptual change, according to Dr. Byrne, is key to seeing adjustments in teachers' approaches to education.

Dr. Luft emphasized engagement and empowerment as the cornerstones of leadership in the present age. Engaging the right stakeholders in conversations and setting clear expectations for classroom observations and student performance is crucial. Furthermore, empowerment involves a willingness to listen to teachers' perspectives, creating a collaborative approach to educational leadership.

Dr. Kaishian focused on a shift towards a less content-based and more dispositional approach to teaching. By emphasizing skill development and dispositions, teachers are freed to individualize instruction based on students' unique needs. This approach aligns with the evolving demands of education in the 21st century.

The panel discussion at PNW BOCES provided valuable insights into the complex landscape of educational innovation. The panelists highlighted the importance of holistic planning, internal collaboration, and the development of internal expertise. Leadership, according to the panelists, plays a pivotal role in defining teaching in the present age, emphasizing engagement, empowerment, and a shift towards dispositional and skill-based approaches. As educators continue to navigate the evolving educational landscape, these insights serve as a guide for fostering innovation and preparing students for success in the modern world.