I’ve been at Teaching Channel as its Chief Academic Officer and then as CEO for the last four years. I am now preparing to step down — so I wanted to reflect and say a rousing Thank You to all of our community!
Lots has happened in the past four years. When I arrived we had 500 teachers in our online community. Very soon, we will top over 800,000. Back then, we had 400 unique visitors every month; now we have over 500,000. We had 400 videos in our library; now we have over 1000+, with lots more in the works. I hired our first stellar laureate, Sarah Brown Wessling. We now have a fabulous team of ten laureates who are helping our community think about how all teachers, no matter how long they’ve been teaching, get better together.
One of the most important developments at Tch is the trust and respect of teachers and educators nationwide have extended to us. We are so grateful. We developed this relationship by consulting with teachers all the time, by working with Laureates, and by doing surveys to find out what educators are interested in, and then following their lead. I want to send my personal thanks to every teacher who responded to our call for input. You’ve made a terrific difference for Teaching Channel, and as a result of your input, we’ve earned something invaluable: the trust and respect of educators across this country.
Next to the great relationship we have with teachers, the accomplishment that I’m most proud of is our interactive collaboration platform called Teams. We created it based on feedback from teachers about their interest in working collaboratively with other teachers to improve their instructional practices. School districts, charter organizations, professional learning organizations, colleges of education, and residency programs are licensing the platform to make it possible for teachers to work together to watch and analyze video, to form study groups, to film themselves in action, and to give and receive feedback from their colleagues.
In addition, educators on the Teams platform can collaboratively examine student work, all in a non-evaluative, growth-oriented workspace. We’re currently piloting Teams for individual teachers who don’t want to wait for their districts. In the coming months, we’ll launch Labs, a course tool within Teams, and will be offering applied courses for our audience and our customers. I believe that, based on your feedback, Teams has the potential to enable teachers to be the engine to improve student achievement in this country.
As I head off after a great time at Tch, I want to introduce you to George Lichter, Tch’s new CEO, and Erika Nielsen Andrew, our Chief Academic Officer. George is a character with a great heart and passion for improving education. He has been a member of the Teaching Channel Board of Directors and served in key roles at Apollo Education Group/University of Phoenix, charged with developing disruptive businesses and programming, including courses and underlying technology platforms featuring high-profile professors such as Clayton Christensen. George has also led other high-growth and social impact companies and knows a tremendous amount about start-ups and on-line learning, and has great ideas about how to grow and strengthen Teaching Channel. It’s always a relief to pass the baton to someone who understands the value of Teaching Channel and has the skills to take it, well, to the MOON!
Erika Nielsen Andrew is a career educator: teacher, coach, principal, professional learning designer, innovator, school reformer, and an inspiring leader. She has created TeamsFest, a way for Teaching Channel’s customers to come together to learn from each other. She has created a variety of ways to help teachers move towards professional learning that is job-embedded, evidence-based, and collaborative. She is amazing! It will be a pleasure to watch what happens at Tch under her stewardship.
It has been an honest-to-gosh treat to have been part of the very talented team who created and is creating Teaching Channel, and part of the great community of American educators who use and love Teaching Channel. Thanks again to all of you who have helped us to grow and thrive. I hope to see you all on the Teams platform in the near future!
Happiest of Holidays.
With deep affection,
Patricia A. Wasley