Behind the Scenes With Our Innovative Teacher Leaders

This past year thirty Agency by Design Oakland fellows have engaged in a city-wide professional learning community focusing on teacher research in Maker-Centered Learning. These dedicated educators have experienced a deep dive into the Agency by Design framework, outlined in the book, Maker-Centered Learning: Empowering Young People to Shape Their Worlds. They have then each chosen a personal inquiry to pursue in a variety of topics, including Leadership & Coaching, Curriculum, Instructional Strategies, Thinking Routines and Maker Capacities, Maker Identity, and Systems Thinking.

The Leadership & Coaching Inquiry Group, which is comprised of seven educators from five distinctly different schools (Castlemont High School, Alliance Academy of Integrated Learning, Park Day School, McClymonds High School, and Urban Montessori Charter School), is tackling the question: How do we ignite and support maker-centered learning at our school sites?

From leading professional development sessions, to one-on-one coaching, to thinking deeply about how Agency by Design ideas connect to school-wide goals, these educators are going above and beyond their job responsibilities in order to have a greater impact on the students they serve. Below are just a few of their inquiries and reflections—don’t miss the chance to learn more at the Culmination Event on May 5th! More Info Here.

Clayton Evans

“My colleague and I led a professional development experience for our staff during the January in-service day. It brought our staff alive in a way we haven’t been all year, and teachers are excited about making it happen in their rooms. One teacher mentioned that what we are doing currently is not working, and making is something we should take seriously as a pedagogical shift that will increase engagement and achievement for our young people.

- Clayton Evans
Physics and Engineering Teacher; Engineering Pathway Director; Science Department Head, McClymonds High School, OUSD

Gretchen.jpg

I am curious to discover best practices for documentation and explore which methods of documentation best serve our adult staff. [One thing I’ve done is] I started implementing PIctures of Practice during the first 10, then 20, and now 30 minutes of each full staff meeting on Wednesdays!

- Gretchen Baglyos, 
Arts Integration Specialist and Choir Teacher, Alliance Academy Middle School, OUSD

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How might Agency by Design (the cognitive routines specifically), be a tool for teachers to work collectively to develop as Culturally Responsive educators that create engaging & relevant classrooms in partnership with students as independent learners?

- Tim Bremner, Pathway Coach, Castlemont High School, Sustainable Urban Design Academy (SUDA) Community Health Equity Academy (CHEA), OUSD

 What do you think makes a good leader? What makes a transformational leader? At our most recent fellowship meeting the Leadership & Coaching Inquiry Group reflected through a chalk talk after having read Chapter 2 in  The Art of Coaching Teams , by Elena Aguilar.

What do you think makes a good leader? What makes a transformational leader? At our most recent fellowship meeting the Leadership & Coaching Inquiry Group reflected through a chalk talk after having read Chapter 2 in The Art of Coaching Teams, by Elena Aguilar.

Learn more about what the Agency by Design Fellows have been exploring this year at our upcoming event: Teacher Action Research in Maker-Centered Learning on Saturday, May 5, at Lighthouse Community Schools in Oakland. More info here!