Ed Leadership magazine: Teachers as leaders

Imagine our excitement! The nation’s premiere education magazine, Educational Leadership, has devoted the September 2007 issue entirely to the theme ‘Teachers as Leaders.’ About time! Can we now bow our heads and say a benediction over the grave of site-based management? Ed Leadership’s editor in chief seems to think so. . .

“Unlike the movement in the early 1990s toward site-based management,” writes Marge Scherer in her introduction to the themed issue, “the emphasis on teacher leadership today is less about involving teachers in managerial and administrative duties and more about playing to the strength of their classroom expertise.”

We totally agree — and in our view, that classroom expertise should be shared and listened to across the school, the school district, the state, deep down in the Washington think tanks, and in every hall of Congress. (You can join a discussion about teacher leadership at this ASCD blog.)

The EL editors have done a good job of pulling together many different perspectives on the “teachers as leaders” theme. The Teacher Leaders Network is well-represented, with a feature story, “Lessons from Networking,” written by TLN co-founders Barnett Berry and John Norton (with an assist from teacher leadership expert Ann Byrd). The story considers the potential power of virtual professional learning communities and — as the title suggests — shares some lessons we’ve learned after nearly five years of helping accomplished teachers build a national network.

You can hear from teachers themselves in another featured article, “Will You Help Me Lead?,” written by TLN senior fellows Carolann Wade and Bill Ferriter (both teachers in Wake County NC), who describe how they gained the confidence to push their knowledge and leadership beyond the confines of their own classrooms.

Another article penned by Educational Leadership senior editor Deborah Perkins-Gough highlights the recent national report written a TLN TeacherSolutions team of 18 award-winning teachers, who offer creative approaches to professional compensation and performance pay.

In the magazine’s Readers Roundtable section, there’s a short essay by our TLN colleague Kathie Marshall, a literacy coach in Los Angeles, titled “Growing Leadership: A Team Effort.” EL has extended this Roundtable feature on the ASCD website, where you’ll be able to read “Dreaming Big” by Anthony Cody, a TLNer from Oakland CA.

You’ll find many other excellent articles in this special “Teachers as Leaders” issue of Educational Leadership — most are publicly available. See the Table of Contents.