By Seth Daniel
For the past two years, after long days in the classroom, 17 teachers from Chelsea, Malden and Revere school districts have converged on Revere High School (RHS) to work towards a position in school leadership.
Last Thursday, May 11, those 17 teachers presented their final Capstone projects to panels of judges, projects that were based upon two long years of study in order to receive advanced degrees that will help them move from the classroom and into the world of school leadership – such as administrators or principals.
It is particularly important in a time when leadership in schools at the highest levels is hard to find, with the difficulties involved with getting advanced degrees tending to chase away those who might otherwise be interested in become school leaders.
That’s where the Five District Partnership (5DP) came in to help offer advanced degree courses locally to teachers aspiring to move up in their professions.
After their presentations on Thursday, 16 teachers earned Certificates of Advanced Graduate Studies (CAGS) and one earned a Master’s Degree. In the 5DP, which includes Revere, Malden, Everett, Chelsea and Winthrop, the call came loud and clear that going to school was not working, and school needed to go to the teachers.
“We’re trying to make it convenient for them,” said Christina Porter, director of humanities for Revere, and a doctorate. “We really wanted to support their advancement. It’s a great way to do that.”
Porter shared that when she pursued her advanced degree, she had to drive to UMass-Boston several times a week after work – something that was very stressful and made it hard to balance her personal life.
With the leadership training, UMass-Boston has partnered with the 5DP to offer the courses. Teachers from the districts come two times a week during the school year and four days a week in the summers.
After two years of that, they graduate.
Porter said they’ve already begun a second cohort that started last September.
“We hope to also do a third cohort,” she said. “Applications for that have closed and we hope to set a start date.”