Modeling teacher leadership

Ali Kliegman, a policy associate at CTQ, has been working with teacher leaders on a new website called Teacher Leader Model Standards. The site, which launched last week, is a collaborative resource for teacher leaders to share and learn about teacher leadership in the 21st century.

“Within every school there is a sleeping giant of teacher leadership, which can be a strong catalyst for making change.” (Katzenmeyer and Moller, 2001)

Teacher leadership is not a new concept. Yet until we begin to cultivate, support, and spread the knowledge and expertise of those who have mastered this craft, we will continue to miss the mark on achieving great gains with students.

So while the newly released Teacher Leader Model Standards may surprise some as an innovative tool for improving the profession, teacher leaders themselves have been living them for years. These standards describe the skills, knowledge, and competencies that teachers need to perform well in leadership roles, including:

Domain I: Fostering a Collaborative Culture to Support Educator Development and Student Learning

Domain II: Accessing and Using Research to Improve Practice and Student Learning

Domain III: Promoting Professional Learning for Continuous Improvement

Domain IV: Facilitating Improvements in Instruction and Student Learning

Domain V: Promoting the Use of Assessments and Data for School and District Improvement

Domain VI: Improving Outreach and Collaboration with Families and Community

Domain VII: Advocating for Student Learning and the Profession

What might be the most useful aspect of these standards are actual exemplars of what teacher leaders have been doing for decades. These exemplars, along with additional information about the development and research behind the standards themselves, will all be made available via their new virtual home: www.teacherleaderstandards.org. The first featured exemplar is the Math and Science Leadership Academy, a teacher-led school in Denver, Colorado, that embodies all seven of these domains.

Thanks to generous funding from the University of Phoenix, ETS, NEA, and ECS, CTQ has been working closely with an outstanding group of five teacher leaders who are researching and posting best practices for each of the seven domains of teacher leadership.

Suggestions for more? Send them our way. In fact, we’ll be convening a virtual community of teacher leaders for this very purpose, and we hope you’ll join the conversation!