In Teach901’s recent survey of priority school teachers, school leadership trended as a major push/pull factor for whether teachers leave or remain at a particular school. Ultimately, the caliber of teacher talent a school can attract and retain is largely influenced by the quality of its leadership.
So how do we develop the leaders that today’s schools need in order to close the achievement gap?
The Accelerate Institute’s Ryan Fellowship is designed to do just that, preparing aspiring principals to be transformational school leaders.
The Ryan Fellowship consists of three years of intensive leadership development. In their first year, fellows attend a 4-week Accelerate Summer Institute and then enter field placement in a “high-achieving urban school” where they are mentored by the school’s principal for the school year. In years two and three, the fellows go on to lead a school with continued support from Ryan Fellows advisors.
The program exists in nine cities and they are currently accepting applications for their next Memphis cohort which will begin in July 2017. The application deadline is March 31st. Learn more and start the process here.
Steven Ward is a Teach for America alum and Ryan Fellow who relocated to Memphis to spend his first year of the fellowship at Memphis Grizzlies Preparatory Charter School. He had this to say about his experience so far:
Memphis, I believe, is the oldest partnership site to the Ryan Fellowship. To date, it’s placed over 20 transformational leaders in schools all around Memphis to bring about educational equity to our deserving students, and nearly all of those principals have stayed in Memphis years later because there’s something special here.
Memphis is about to break the code on what true educational change and the equity movement looks like, and that’s why I chose to accept the Ryan Fellowship. Where else would you get three years of intensive and intentional coaching and development to make you a better leader which in turn makes your students better and helps to improve your community? Is it easy? Absolutely not. But is it worth it? One hundred percent, yes, because at the end of the day I am serving a body of students and their families that want and deserve more and are willing to do whatever it takes. Memphis touts itself as a city on the rise, and years from now, I’ll look back and know that I had a hand it in, in my own small way through transforming schools and preparing young Memphians to improve their city, their state, their country, and the world. And, after all, who wouldn’t want to be a part of that?