What Is Teacher Leadership? Essay Example
The teacher leadership notion is not a new expression in the sight of the world. For a long time, teachers have served as department chairs, association leaders, team leaders, curriculum developers and class representatives. For a long time, teacher leadership has been accompanied by strong involvement and ambition in the task. As a teacher leader, mostly I find it hard to balance between my normal teaching work and the leadership position. As a result, there is always a relief of duty for teacher leaders. As a teacher leader, I have to concentrate on my leadership role and offload certain responsibilities required of me as a teacher. Teacher leadership has lacked flexibility for a long time. Lack of flexibility for teacher leaders has, therefore, lead to the increased commitment of teachers to their leadership loci (Harris, 2005).
The role of the teacher in recent years has dramatically deviated. Teachers have been urged to get out of their traditional responsibilities and take more diverse roles in the society. Teaching is reasonably central like it has always been taken. However, teachers have been urged to extend their sphere of influence beyond the normal classroom scenario and take more advanced leadership role. Leadership involves the organization of a team where followers are directed by someone with more management power in an institution or group. Leaders tend to operate by giving orders to their constituents and ensuring a mutual coordination exists between the leader and the followers. A teacher can also serve as a leader in several grounds. As a teacher, there are several responsibilities hipped on me either naturally or artificially. The responsibilities hipped on me requisite me to act as a director to a group of followers. Many at times the folks under me trust me with the responsibilities given to me (Harris, 2002).
Typically, teachers define career satisfaction in terms of their mandate to serve others and create an essential difference in their lives. I find it pleasing when my students perform perfectly because that is the reason why I offer my services to them. Similarly, the leadership contemplations of teachers are grounded in their urge to improve the quality of education to all students. There is a substantial relationship between the normal leadership and teacher leadership. The normal leadership embraces organizational hierarchy where someone is on top of another in relation to their powers in the organization (Harris & Muijs, 2003).
Who are teacher leaders?
There are several functions that a teacher can perform so as to be branded a teacher leader. Different tasks can be hipped on teachers that can enable them naturally assume the role of teacher leaders. In the elementary school setup, there are several divisions that that need leadership positions. Elementary schools have departmental heads who coordinate all the activities that take place in the department. Club patrons, games teachers, and school social organizations sponsors are also teachers. Teachers can also act as leaders for their peers. As peer leaders, teachers can function as leaders of teachers’ associations and societies. Teachers can also deliver their duties teacher heads within the school. As a teacher, I can be charged with the extra responsibility of leading my fellow teachers in a school. I can lead them as a principal teacher, senior teacher or even the deputy of the principal teacher (Helterbran, 2010).
A head of the department is a person who is granted the mandate of running the affairs of a department in a school by coordinating with other relevant parties. A head of the department is accountable for the activities of the respective department and can consulted for critical information about the department when the need arises. I consider the role of heading a department in a school as a strong teacher leader position. Coordinating all the activities done in a department requires critical teacher knowledge. I have to handle cases that arise from my department and give amicable solutions. Sometimes other people do not agree with my solutions . However, we have to move together in mutual tolerance (Thoonen, Sleegers, Oort, Peetsma, & Geijsel, 2011). As a department head, I have report the state of the department including the details of student enrollments. The performance of students also impacts the position of a department chairman. Being a department leader, therefore, involves critical and professional skill.
Serving as the team leader in the development of standards for social studies, I have to apply standards in religious education, geography, history and English to develop a curriculum for social studies. All the four supporting subject divisions contribute towards the achievement of a quality standard. The team leaders concur to hike the consistency in classroom curriculums and advocate for the administration of common assessments. Based on common understanding of the curriculum, we develop an assessment strategy periodically to assist in determining whether all the affected bodies apply to the standards.
I facilitate the school’s professional development committee by representing the interests of my department and area of specialization. Together we plan the year’s professional development program by the use of a back mapping model. We begin by identifying the learning needs of the students. We then access the current knowledge owned by teachers in their various areas of specialization. We also concentrate on the type of learning prospects that various teachers need. After accessing all the factors that affect professional learning, we develop recommendations for the program. All the available parties are granted opportunities to table their opinions as far as teacher professional learning is concerned. Based on the findings, we develop a professional plan with clear procedures of implementation and correction. By facilitating professional learning programs, I gain leadership skills that improve my credibility as a teacher by offering my services to fellow staff members and students (Taylor, Yates, Meyer, & Kinsella, 2011).
Mentorship is the process of serving as life experiences for other people by encouraging them to succeed through the means that one used to succeed. Teachers can be mentors leading mentorship programs for fellow staff members and students. As a teacher leader, I serve as a mentor for novice teachers. I serve as a role model and advice new teachers on how to take their duties perfectly without experiencing more challenges. I mentor new and inexperienced teachers by advising them about instruction, procedures, practices and curriculum. Mentorship takes a great deal of time and expertise. While mentoring fellow staff, I spend much of my time engaging in lengthy discussions and consultations. I also take a lot of time in accessing to establish whether positive improvements are registered among the teachers. I also need to employ my professional expertise deeply in order to achieve my mentorship goals. My contribution towards the mentorship of a new professional is significant and that makes me a great teacher leader (FROST & HARRIS, 2003).
Ming is a new teacher in her first-grade class, and the school head teacher asks her to mentor the latest teacher recruit in her school. The school has recruited a new teacher, and the head teacher has charged Ming with the responsibility of leading the new staff member by offering guidance on the operation of the school. Ming has to enlighten the new teacher on the operation of the curriculum, rules, procedures, and responsibilities. Mentorship does not stop at acting as role models to fellow staff; it extends to offering guidance to students on good social behaviors. Every day I interact with students, I have to behave in a manner that will enable the students appreciate me as their teacher. Students need daily advice on how to handle social responsibilities. Students also need advice on career selection, and this forms part of leadership programs that I assume as a teacher (Ghamrawi, 2010).
Leader of teacher associations and unions
FROST, D., & HARRIS, A. (2003). Teacher Leadership: towards a research agenda. Cambridge Journal of Education. http://doi.org/10.1080/0305764032000122078
Ghamrawi, N. (2010). No Teacher Left Behind: Subject Leadership that Promotes Teacher Leadership. Educational Management Administration & Leadership. http://doi.org/10.1177/1741143209359713
Harris, A. (2002). Improving schools through teacher leadership. Education Journal, 22–23.
Harris, A. (2005). Teacher Leadership: More than Just a Feel-Good Factor? Leadership and Policy in Schools. http://doi.org/10.1080/15700760500244777
Harris, A., & Muijs, D. (2003). Teacher leadership and school improvement. Education Review, 16, 39–42. http://doi.org/Article
Helterbran, V. R. (2010). Teacher leadership: Overcoming “I am just a teacher” syndrome. Education, 131, 363–372. Retrieved from http://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ930607
Rutherford, C. (2009). Distributed Leadership and Comprehensive School Reform: Using the Distributed Perspective to Investigate the Distribution of Teacher Leadership. International Journal of Teacher Leadership, 2, 49–68.
Taylor, M., Yates, A., Meyer, L. H., & Kinsella, P. (2011). Teacher professional leadership in support of teacher professional development. Teaching and Teacher Education, 27, 85–94. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.tate.2010.07.005
Thoonen, E. E. J., Sleegers, P. J. C., Oort, F. J., Peetsma, T. T. D., & Geijsel, F. P. (2011). How to Improve Teaching Practices: The Role of Teacher Motivation, Organizational Factors, and Leadership Practices. Educational Administration Quarterly. http://doi.org/10.1177/0013161X11400185
York-Barr, J., & Duke, K. (2004). What Do We Know About Teacher Leadership? Findings From Two Decades of Scholarship. Review of Educational Research. http://doi.org/10.3102/00346543074003255
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