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.
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.