Christina Spears, a special education teacher at Panther Creek High School in Wake County, wrote about her experience participating in the Beginning Teacher Leadership Network in Education NC.

Wake County Public Schools (WCPSS) equips beginning teachers with a tool chest full of equipment to put together the parts of this plane: the Beginning Teacher Support Program, which provides mentors for BTs and frequent observations used to improve practice. Among other helpful tools: monthly meetings consisting of professional development and opportunities to share with other teachers.

The Public School Forum of North Carolina has gifted beginning teachers in Wake, Mecklenburg, and Union counties (with more to follow) with a license to pilot a perfectly-crafted airplane. Without Beginning Teacher Leadership Network (BTLN), my plane would be sitting in a hangar, dormant. Since participating in this innovative program, I have been flying with confidence. I shine in the classroom with my students, alongside my hard-working colleagues and friends who dedicate time and energy every day to do right by their students. I am eager to learn from educational leaders in my district and state who are working to make positive change in policy and programs every day. I’m strong-willed in my efforts to make decisions within my professional learning teams and school-based systems that address students’ needs. I am assertive in my ability to engage in conversations with both peers and policymakers.


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