Leadership for Emergency Academic Preparedness (LEAP)
LEAP: Leadership for Emergency Academic Preparedness
Learn. Support. Lead.
Needless to say, many of us found ourselves in uncharted territory as we navigated the challenges of teaching during the coronavirus pandemic. The 2020 shift to online instruction with little preparation, and ongoing changes to teaching modalities, and the return to in-person learning has called for rapid adjustment of plans, materials, and mindsets. All the while, the health crisis, uncertainty of a timeline for resolution, isolation, economic impact, and a new way of living in socially distanced and virtual ways has traumatized some adults and children.
In light of these circumstances, the LEAP program seeks to support teachers, and thereby support learners and the broader education profession, by doing the following:
- equipping teachers with knowledge and pedagogogical strategies for supporting all students and, in particular, at-risk learners.
- building professional learning communities to support self-care, collaborative learning, professional problem-solving.
- developing teachers’ capacity to mentor and lead colleagues in best-practices in emergency instruction.
- providing opportunities for teacher leaders to share their emergency instructional preparedness experiences and expertise.
Participants in the LEAP program will attend workshops and seminars to deepen their understanding of timely topics such as trauma sensitive teaching practices and universal design for learning. Workshops will be led by engaging experts and will feature opportunities to reflect on and apply content.
We believe teachers who are connected to a professional community and who can collaborate on strategies for supporting their students are likely to be more resilient mentally, and therefore can be more effective teachers. The centerpiece of this program is the establishment of a professional learning network to provide opportunities for resource sharing, peer mentoring, collaboration, and sustained encouragement to teachers as they engage in virtual, socially distanced, and/or emergency pedagogy. Professional learning communities (PLCs) provide forum and focus for educators who may be experiencing many of the same challenges as the students they teach.
During this pandemic, teachers will become the true experts in what it means to teach in times of emergency and transition. The LEAP program will foster this expertise and provide opportunities for teachers to assume leadership roles in their schools and in the broader profession. A signature outcome of the program will be a collaboratively produced publication to guide future educators in times of emergency teaching.
This program is sponsored by the Maryland Governor's Emergency Education Relief (GEER) Fund.
Now accepting applications through September 30. (New applicants can make up the September 18 session asynchronously.)