Opinion
Education Opinion

Teacher Leader Model Standards Released

By Learning Forward — May 08, 2011 3 min read

Last week the Teacher Leadership Exploratory Consortium released the Teacher Leader Model Standards, which were created to stimulate dialogue about what constitutes the knowledge, skills and competencies that teachers need to assume teacher leadership roles in their schools, districts and the profession. Learning Forward Deputy Executive Director Joellen Killion made the following remarks at a forum announcing the release of the standards in Washington May 5.

Teacher Leader Model Standards provide a solid foundation on which teacher leaders and those who prepare, engage, coach, and supervise them will stand. The standards define the functions of teachers who assume leadership responsibilities and suggest the body of knowledge and skills essential for each responsibility.

From the perspective of professional learning, the standards make two significant contributions. First they make explicit the goals and content for the professional learning designed to develop the competencies and effectiveness of teacher leaders. Having a specialized body of knowledge is one attribute of a profession. A profession’s body of knowledge describes the profession-specific knowledge that practitioners are expected to acquire for current and future practice in that profession.

Secondly, the standards delineate the foundational functions for teachers who assume leadership roles and responsibilities to facilitate or support the professional learning of their peers. Professional learning is an essential component of all education reform efforts. Its quality and effectiveness is affected by the skillfulness of those who lead or facilitate educator professional learning. Three domains specifically address this area of teacher leaders’ responsibilities.


  • Domain 1: Fostering a Collaborative Culture to Support Educator Development and Student Learning
  • Domain 3: Promoting Professional Learning for Continuous Improvement
  • Domain 4: Facilitating Improvements in Instruction and Student Learning

The standards contribute value in several ways. The standards provide guidance to teachers who seek opportunities to expand their influence, advance their careers, and engage more substantively in decision making beyond their classrooms.

The standards serve as a reference for the knowledge and skills to develop to be successful in these endeavors. The standards respond to one challenge frequently associated with teacher leadership -- ensuring that teachers have substantive leadership opportunities. The multiple domains of the teacher-leadership standards describe meaningful ways in which school and district administrators can engage teacher leaders and they define clear role expectations for those who create such opportunities.

The standards describe seminal knowledge and skills essential for teachers in leadership roles. Teacher leadership requires additional expertise beyond excellence in teaching. The standards set a foundation for defining and developing this extended expertise. They will guide professional associations, education agencies, institutes of higher education, and district leaders who prepare and support teacher leaders.

The standards elevate and advance teacher leadership. They establish high expectations for teachers assuming the responsibilities associated with multiple leadership roles. By defining the functions expected of teacher leaders, the standards take the first step in amplifying the importance of teacher leadership. They sanction teacher leaders as core contributors to efforts to improve schools, strengthen teaching, and improve student achievement.

The standards provide guidelines for school and district administrators who support, develop, and supervise teacher leaders. Using the standards teachers and principals can work collaboratively to define expectations, determine how best to enact the role of teacher leader, and set goals for ongoing professional learning for teacher leaders.

By delineating common expectations for those who serve as teacher leaders, the standards make it eminently clear that teacher leadership holds extraordinary promise and teacher leaders carry significant responsibility for school improvement, teaching quality, and student learning.

Joellen Killion
Deputy Executive Director, Learning Forward

The opinions expressed in Learning Forward’s PD Watch are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.

Let us know what you think!

We’re looking for feedback on our new site to make sure we continue to provide you the best experience.

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Future of Work Webinar
Digital Literacy Strategies to Promote Equity
Our new world has only increased our students’ dependence on technology. This makes digital literacy no longer a “nice to have” but a “need to have.” How do we ensure that every student can navigate
Content provided by Learning.com
Mathematics Online Summit Teaching Math in a Pandemic
Attend this online summit to ask questions about how COVID-19 has affected achievement, instruction, assessment, and engagement in math.
School & District Management Webinar Examining the Evidence: Catching Kids Up at a Distance
As districts, schools, and families navigate a new normal following the abrupt end of in-person schooling this spring, students’ learning opportunities vary enormously across the nation. Access to devices and broadband internet and a secure

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Data Analyst
New York, NY, US
New Visions for Public Schools
Project Manager
United States
K12 Inc.
High School Permanent Substitute Teacher
Woolwich Township, NJ, US
Kingsway Regional School District
MS STEM Teacher
Woolwich Township, NJ, US
Kingsway Regional School District

Read Next

Education Obituary In Memory of Michele Molnar, EdWeek Market Brief Writer and Editor
EdWeek Market Brief Associate Editor Michele Molnar, who was instrumental in launching the publication, succumbed to cancer.
5 min read
Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: December 9, 2020
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: Stories You May Have Missed
A collection of articles from the previous week that you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: Stories You May Have Missed
A collection of stories from the previous week that you may have missed.
8 min read