Anda di halaman 1dari 5

Teacher Leaders 1

Teacher Leaders Kristin Bylund Thurnher University of New England

Teacher Leaders 2 Teacher Leaders The Teachers as Leaders program in Mountain Brook Schools was developed in preparation for the impending retirement of the majority of principals in the school system. However the program was not intended to prepare teachers for administrative roles but to empower teachers for more responsible leadership roles which would create an effective, challenging, and engaging educational environment. This new philosophy changed the traditional role of a teacher from working alone in the classroom to collaborating with colleagues, from focusing on private instructional practice to openly sharing practices, and from working independently to becoming interdependent. It allowed teachers to realize that leadership skills such as developing relationships, handling learning processes, managing work, and building skills and confidence in others, were qualities that could be learned and then utilized to create a culture of excellent education (Searby & Shaddix 2008). I believe this program is successful because it empowers teachers and gives them a sense of responsibility and control over their schools. It makes them feel that they are accountable for something bigger than just their classrooms. It gives them a sense that they themselves can become powerful entities of change in their school and provides them with the motivation to excel beyond traditional teacher expectations. Teacher leaders are team players who are constantly learning and evolving, are committed to accepting responsibility for their own school, are determined to work together to constantly try new things, accept challenges, take risks, and share a vision for a challenging and efficient learning community (Searby & Shaddix 2008). I possess those qualities but as the newest, youngest and least experienced teacher in my school I

Teacher Leaders 3 often feel like a novice compared to my colleagues. Everyday I am learning and evolving as both a teacher and a teacher leader. Although leadership is a quality that is generally associated as an inherent trait this article is very inspirational because it considers leadership as something that can be learned (Searby & Shaddix 2008). For a new teacher collaboration and sharing practice knowledge are detrimental to the teacher leaders concept (Angelle & DeHart 2011). I am very grateful to all the teacher leaders who help me to evolve gradually into a teacher leader myself. My school has an excellent learning community based on units which we are constantly collaborating on. We are a team who is positive, accepts challenges, and shares a mission of high expectations for our students based on an intense curriculum. We are all leaders within our subjects and we come together to collaborate on a shared unit. This participation exemplifies my strongest role as a teacher leader. With this shared philosophy on collaboration, weekly meetings, and being open to new challenges as well as time and experience, I believe that I am evolving into a teacher leader. Therefore I think that with time, experience, continued commitment, and guidance from my teacher leaders, I will become a real teacher leader. Collaboration, interdependence, and sharing practice are essential for teacher leaders (Searby & Shaddix 2008). I believe that collaboration is the strongest example of teacher leaders at my school. One of the ways we collaborate is by focusing on a theme every quarter and teaching that theme in the classroom as it applies to our respective subjects. We support and encourage each other with the goal of teaching this theme. Right now we are working on a Christmas Play. Topics of the play are discussed and learnt in all subjects. The students are reading and comprehending the play in the subjects English, German, and Italian, learning songs in music, making the props and

Teacher Leaders 4 costumes in art, doing math exercises based on the theme, and even doing a game in sports class related to it. By working together on units we are collaborating and trying new things in the classrooms to reach a common educational goal. We share our instructional practice ideas and evaluate our progress in weekly meetings and make sure we are staying aligned with our shared purpose for challenging yet effective educational success. To improve the leadership climate at my school I believe we must maintain what we are doing. As our units change we will continue to try new things in the classroom, evaluate our instructional practices, and focus on our purpose to make learning challenging and interesting. I believe that as long as we continue to support and encourage each other and meet weekly we can maintain an excellent learning community and only become better teacher leaders.

Teacher Leaders 5 References: Angelle & DeHart. (2011) Teacher Perceptions of Teacher Leadership: Examining Differences by Experience, Degree, and Position. NASSP Bulletin, 95(2), 141160.

Searby & Shaddix. (2008) Growing Teacher Leaders in a Culture of Excellence. Professional Educator, 32(1), 45-33.