Lowell Milken working with students at an NIET-affiliated school. Rigor has intensified during COVID-19, demonstrating how a leadership team can adapt to changing circumstances as they strive to create change in students’ lives.
2020 marks 20 years of advancing the National Institute for Excellence in Teaching’s mission of building educator excellence to give all students the opportunity for success. The act of “building” is crucial to establish a strong foundation, garner support, create change, and maximize impact. NIET’s initiatives stand the test of time because they leverage outstanding instruction to impact student learning. These structures are a stronghold for schools, especially during educational challenges, from natural disasters and economic declines to a pandemic that has fundamentally changed how educators teach and students learn. That is particularly true this year. In their nimble response to COVID-19, NIET educators have used professional development “cluster” meetings to reset goals, reimagined teacher observation with virtual learning walks, and embraced technological strategies and tools to engage students in new ways. These practices will no doubt impact the delivery of instruction long-term for NIET partners, and the further elevation of teacher leaders provides schools with a human capital system that intentionally prioritizes student learning amid crises and challenges. . .