RTI Action Network

Why I Decided to Join the RTI Action Network Leadership Mentoring Program

By: Bob HeimbaughPublished: May 10, 2010
Topics: Implementation Planning and Evaluation, Leadership, Professional Development

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If you have spent any time at all on the RTI Action Network web site, you probably came across a link to the Leadership Network. During the 2009-10 school year, the RTI Action Network launched the Leadership Network as a way to support schools and districts across the nation as they implement RtI practices in their classrooms and schools. RtI implementation in a district and school has a strong collaborative culture as a base for implementation and I believe the RTI Action Network wanted to model that collaboration through this project. I was honored when I was asked to serve as a mentor and I have really enjoyed the experience.

As the mentor of a group, I have 17 brave souls who have joined me on our year-long journey. My group consists of teachers, special education teachers, special education directors, Superintendents, RtI specialists, and building principals. My group would be classified as those in the "initial stages" of RtI implementation and we meet once a month via WebEx to discuss a monthly topic. I have members in my group from Alaska, to Texas, to New York State. You would think that with a group so large and diverse that we would "be all over the map" concerning particular intervention needs, but, in reality, the conversations that we have had all come back to the same place — implementation based on research.

In reflecting back on the year thus far, some central themes keep coming up month after month. In the remainder of this blog, I want to share with you what I have found as a mentor for the Leadership Network. For those of you in the initial phases of RtI implementation, you may find the information timely and relevant. For those of you who have been implementing RtI for some time, the information may also be helpful. Please be reminded that the following statements are my own generalizations and may not represent the RTI Action Network.

Here are my thoughts:

As stated above, I have really enjoyed my journey thus far as I mentor other professionals as part of the Leadership Network. I joined because my experience as an educator has demonstrated for me that the RtI model works and impacts students and their learning. Having the chance to share that with others has been special. Even more revealing to me in this process has been the realization that there are a lot of outstanding educators across this country who are coming together under the concept of RtI to improve learning opportunities for children. The more we share, the stronger our instructional practice. The stronger our instructional practice, the greater impact we have on student learning I hope that as you read this blog you will consider joining the Leadership Network next year.

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