Teacher Leadership Communities and Developing Standards

Teacher Leadership Communities and Developing Standards

The questions in Patrick Ledesma’s recent blog post at Ed Week  – Join the Teacher Leadership Community –  are critical to consider as we strive to make improvements in our educational system:

How do you define teacher leadership? Do you consider yourself or any teachers with whom you work to be teacher leaders? What roles do teacher leaders currently serve within the educational community? How can teacher leaders help to move education forward and provide our students with 21st century skills?”

I heard a panel including Charlotte Danielson, Joellen Killion and 2 Teachers of the Year present at the Spring ASCD 2012 conference  about how the Teacher Leadership Exploratory Consortium has been grappling with these issues. Its work is impressive in that it draws from a strong body of research and experience. In some ways the thinking challenges traditional school structures. Rather than encouraging teachers who seek influence beyond their classrooms to move out of their classrooms and into administrative positions, this group urges us to think about the many informal ways teachers can achieve this end while still maintaining their connection to the classroom. To the group’s credit, it applies rigor to the effort to identify informal solutions by developing standards that highlight the skills and dispositions that teacher leaders must possess.

Old Classroom Photo Credit to Rob Shenk