What Are Teacher Leadership Standards?

It was a marathon of a day with little time between to take in all that I was learning between sessions. One session that resonated with me was the call for identifying teacher leaders and giving them various responsibilities – not as add-ons, but by providing them the structures to take on these responsibilities. According to Kathryn Boles, we lose too many of our best teachers and attrition rates are too high. Many teachers do not want to become a principal/head of school, but they aren’t given the opportunities to be the change agents they want to be while still in the classroom. There are seven domains/standards for teacher leaders that have been identified.

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

You can get a lot more information about all these standards at this site (still under construction, but already very good). Every administrator should know about this site. Not only have standards for teacher leaders been developed, but the supporting strategies to support these have also been identified.

  • Increase the capcity to create staffing models that include differentiated career options for teachers. It’s shouldn’t solely be just teacher ==> assistant principal ==> principal ==> superintendent.
  • Develop new structures for licensing and/or credentialing teacher leaders.
  • Engage stakeholders in developing criteria-based models for the selection of teachers to serve in formalized leadership roles.
  • Develop systems for reward and recognition of the contributions of teachers in formal and informal leadership roles.
  • Establish compensation systems that recognize teacher leadership roles, knowledge, and skills.
  • Establish a performance management and evaluation system that is consistent with the identified and varied roles of teacher leaders.

I’ve a lot more to add on this one topic alone, but as I mentioned, the schedule is packed solid – Fantastic, but full. In fact, I’m getting ready for another 12-hour day of learning which starts in 15 minutes. Hopefully, I’ll be able to break some of the things I’m learning down into little chunks and how they apply to the classroom. In the meantime, check out that link above.


2 thoughts on “What Are Teacher Leadership Standards?

  1. Seen this stuff a lot over 3 decades. Well worded. Looks pro. Words to give authorities proof of efforts and job for conductors of workshops. Good reading for state legislators. Junk. Why? Jeff is in 11th grade and can’t read, Marta did not come because her uncle beat her again, Pierre is home hiding because of parent’s immigration status, four kids brought a book to class(an increase over usual two), and right now we are having a weapons check. Again.

    • Carl, you make very good points. How, for example, can one advocate for those qualities in teachers when faced with the examples you give? If Jeff can’t read, shouldn’t he be taking reading classes rather than the myriad of high school offerings that don’t serve him or his teachers well? If basic needs of safety aren’t there for the kids in their home lives, school may be the closest thing they get to it, and if teachers have to invest all their energy and time to providing those needs first (which is my mind a very genuine kind of leadership), how could they possibly engage with the other strands I listed above. Thanks also for your last comment. I also don’t understand why so many teachers are anti-academic. I’ve worked in schools like that. I just feel very fortunate that my in my current school, learning among the faculty is an established culture.

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