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leadership cartoons, leadership cartoon, leadership picture, leadership pictures, leadership image, leadership images, leadership illustration, leadership illustrations

Teachers as Educational Leaders

"Leaders who create leaders are more powerful than those who do not."
-Sam Lucas, Gilbert C. Brown, Frank W. Markus
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Why do we need teachers as leaders?
  • In order to keep good teachers and entice new ones
  • To help develop the vision and mobilize and implement change
  • They have a vested interest and know the community and the kids

What characteristics should a teacher leader possess?
  • Have a desire to improve the quality of teaching and learning
  • Have backgrounds as accomplished teachers and be willing to extend their knowledge
  • Be able to take initiative, be proactive, and take risks
  • Be able to perserve through obstacles
  • Be lifelong learners (constant inquiry)
  • Be respected, respectful, and committed
  • Be a good listener and an effective communicator
  • Be honest and approachable
  • Be a good problem solver

What do good teacher leaders do?
  • Inspire and empower others to work towards a shared vision
  • Develop trusting and collaborative relationships on both a small and large scale
  • Build skill and confidence in others in a nonjudgemental way
  • Provide for continuous learning and support
  • Model strategies
  • Diagnose organizational conditions
  • Share successes and recognize and value individual and team contributions and efforts
  • Encourage the development of relationships with the community and businesses
  • Facilitate reflective practices

What are the positive effects of having teacher leaders?
  • Can create a shared responsibility for student learning
  • Can decrease isolation among teachers
  • Can help to improve instruction and management
  • Can help to create better learning environments
  • Can help to engage and motivate teachers
  • Can lead to more exposure to new ideas and practices and a better understanding of instruction
  • Can mentor new faculty members

What are the challenges to implementing teacher leaders?
  • Relationships with coworkers can change
  • Making sure their roles are defined
  • Finding time to fulfill a dual role and take on more responsibility

What is needed to successfully implement teacher leaders?
  • Supportive school culture
  • Strong principal leadership who actively supports and empowers
  • Collective initiatives
  • Shared vision

Six Characteristics of Successful leaders of Educational Change:
  • being visionary
  • believing that schools are for learning
  • valuing human resources
  • communicating and listening effectively
  • being proactive
  • taking risks

Videos and links:

http://www.teacherleaders.org/home This is a link to an active community of accomplished teacher leaders.

http://www.sldirectory.com/libsf/resf/import.html This site provides numerous resources for library media specialists in their role as educational leaders.

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Above you can find the roles and traits of an effective leader.

  • Promoting a clear vision
  • Taking initiative
  • Persevering in the face of obstacles
  • Analyzing and making program adjustments/improvements
  • Building support with parents and community
  • Building a team spirit among the faculty
  • Providing support and encouragement for other teachers
  • Facilitating communication and reflection among the faculty
  • Celebrating and recognizing program successes
  • Using alternative strategies such as a summer program to build skills
  • Exercising patience
These are the characteristics that were listed in the SEDL article titled "Teachers as Leaders", they were defined as the characteristics used by the teacher leader named Abbleberry at the Dumas District High School. I feel that this list of characteristics is a great summary of the traits all leaders must utilize in order to become successful. We can use this list in our own work force as teacher leaders, or keep them in mind for the furture if we step into leadership roles at our schools.

Notable excerpts from group discussions:

The point is, she persevered through that situation and kept the respect of our staff. She also kept us informed (communication) and in good spirits. This situation caused the leadership dynamics to change; it helped our staff to bond with her instead of against her.

The leader needs to be able to trust his or her employees to make decisions. If they make wrong decisions correct them and show them the right away. That is how you groom new leaders.

There are several qualities and traits that a leader must possess in order to become effective.

Listening to what is important to the other parties involved, not only shows that the leader cares about how his/her vision affects these parties, but also shows that their opinion matters, that they are a valuable players in the success of the proposed change.

Not letting obstacles or opposition prevent you from obtaining your goal, and encouraging your supporters to help you do so in a motivating and uplifting way.

Continuing to grow and branch out in the areas of professional development and content knowledge will provide teachers with a greater wealth of knowledge to pull from when changing an area within their own school.

It is much easier to see a person’s beliefs through observations of how they portray themselves, than it is to believe what someone says are their beliefs (actions speak louder than words). It is more likely that a leader who “practices what they preach” will be supported and followed by those who are working under them.

One of my colleagues stepped in to the position of Team Leader this past year. She was only in her second year at our school (about 9 years teaching) and was coming into a team that was going through many changes. Six out of the eight 2nd grade teachers were relatively new (within the past 2 years) to either the school, the grade, or teaching. This individual set a high standard for our team in terms of organization, instructional practices, and collaboration. I'm happy to say that my team was called the "dream team" by the leadership at my school during my evaluation conference. I believe that it is much in part due to the job that she did in August by setting the stage for our team.

He developed a strong sense of teamwork and camaraderie in the building that transcended beyond the walls of the building. This was not an easy task as my school has a very transient staff, but he somehow managed to pull it off by providing so many opportunities for collaboration and interaction.