At Dignitas, we believe that strong school leadership is essential to leading lasting change in schools and communities. We know that where there are strong communities of adult learners, students benefit. To this end, Dignitas supports the implementation of Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) in our partner schools, where staff become stronger teachers and leaders, eventually assuming responsibility for school improvement when their partnership with Dignitas ends. In order to catalyze school transformation, we have designed a pilot program to further invest in school leaders to affect and sustain change.
We’re excited to announce the Nawiri Leadership Institute! Launched this past June, Nawiri trains teacher leaders with a demonstrated history of excellence in the classroom in the art of instructional coaching. This select group will be empowered with the skills, knowledge, and mindsets needed to champion educational excellence in their schools and communities. The Nawiri Leadership Institute will be held over the course of two months during the summer with monthly follow-up sessions for an additional 16 months.
Participants will engage in over 100 hours of professional development, including individualized in-school coaching hours with our Program Director, Rebecca Crook. The Institute will culminate in a weeklong summit after schools close.
Earlier this year, Dignitas coaches identified and invited exceptional educators from partner schools to apply to the program. 20 educators made up the inaugural cohort this summer, with at least two school leaders participating from each of our eight partner schools.
Through their participation in Nawiri, which means “to flourish,” participants will develop:
- reflective practices to continuously improve their instructional and personal leadership
- the skills to identify strengths, opportunities and questions through classroom observation
- confidence in facilitating strategic coaching conversations
- skills to foster a culture of peer observation and collaboration in their schools
- a system and schedule for coaching in their schools
Last Friday we held a closing awards ceremony for the summer session to celebrate these 20 leaders’ commitment to professional growth and lasting school change.
“Before Nawiri I did not think that I could ever give feedback to another teacher, let alone my senior teacher who also happens to be a man. But throughout Nawiri we learned that everyone is a leader and everyone is a learner. Now, I feel comfortable asking others to give me feedback and to watch me teach. And, I know that I play a role in supporting even my senior teacher improve. I am no longer afraid. I am really a mirror that helps him become a better teacher and leader.”Emily Atieno
Program Director Rebecca Crook reflected at the end of the summit, “For me the most exciting palpable outcome is that our school leadership pilot reignited relationships teacher leaders have with each other and with learning. Not only are Nawiri fellows capable coaches able to give and receive critical feedback, but coaching has transformed their capacity for continuous learning as leaders. They are excited about supporting and learning from each other, which makes me confident they will continue to lead transformation at their schools far beyond formal partnership with Dignitas.”
Please join us in congratulating our inaugural cohort of the Nawiri Leadership Institute!
If you have any questions about this program, please contact Rebecca Crook at [email protected]