Equity Leaders Benefit from Peer to Peer Learning

This ongoing series provides real-time updates on our innovative USDOE-funded program, Equity Leader Accelerator Program (ELAP), currently underway in Massachusetts.

CLEE’s ELAP program has been intentionally designed with equitable student outcomes at its core through the use of MA DESE’s Anti Racist Leadership Practices and honing in on the Instructional Core as drivers for the work. In addition to one-on-one coaching, part of the magic of ELAP is bringing together leaders from across the network for peer to peer sessions where educators have an opportunity to celebrate successes as well as receive feedback on some of the challenges being faced in schools today. 

One of the tools used to support leaders during our first peer to peer session of the year was the What, So What, Now What protocol. It allows participants to connect to one another and to each other's work, while at the same time allowing all group members to get useful feedback. The intent in using this protocol over some of the other options is twofold: (1) the protocol centers the experience of individuals allowing space for connection, vulnerability and validation, and (2), it taps into the group’s collective expertise to ask powerful questions and reenvision solutions to old problems of practice.

Reflections from participants: 

  • This was my favorite online PD since the pandemic started. I felt truly engaged with my group members. The protocol enhanced self-reflection and listening to understand before drawing conclusions. The breakout rooms were consistent (same people) which helped to foster trust.

  • It was nice to stay in the same group with two other Assistant Principals who are doing the same things that I am doing ... .would love to be able to check in with those other leaders in my group and follow up on the things they shared as well as continue to share ideas as they come up.

  • I learned about a few new protocols that I really liked and would like to use at my school, especially as we navigate difficult conversations

Yovanny Vargas, Continuous Improvement Facilitator and Coach

As leaders continue to grapple with school based issues, ELAP continues to provide dedicated time to reflect and pushes all educators to think critically about the inequities in their communities and the tangible next steps to addressing them.