School & District Management Letter to the Editor

Teacher-Led Schools Offer Innovative Approach

May 09, 2017 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

To the Editor:

I appreciated reading “In Minn. and U.S., Teacher-Led Schools Take Root” (April 19, 2017), about this movement and specifically the work done by teachers at Impact Academy at Orchard Lake in Lakeville, Minn. I work at The Metropolitan Career and Technical Center, a high school also known as The Met, in Providence, R.I. As an innovative career-and-technical-education program, we tend to be out ahead of many educational initiatives, thanks to a relatively flat structure that encourages sharing of ideas and our nontraditional philosophy and guiding principles of student-centered learning.

However, it is the school-leadership graduate program I am currently enrolled in that gives me the greatest appreciation of the article. In spite of The Met’s progressive education approach, we still very much follow the traditional school hierarchy of teachers and staff reporting to the administration and following directives and mandates from above.

I see the shift toward greater shared decisionmaking and reduced reliance on a traditional hierarchy of authority as the next big district innovation. This shift to teacher-led schools is the type of leadership I hope to contribute to in the future.

Impact Academy’s principal noted that because she is accountable to the teachers in her teacher-led school, she strives “to be a leader I would have wanted to work for when I was a teacher.” As a future school leader, this is something I must never forget. I believe a teacher-led school supported by a strong instructional leader is the optimal learning environment for students and staff alike.

To this end, I believe that the Teacher-Powered Schools Initiative goal, referenced in the article, to have a teacher-led school within the reach of any interested educator in the next 30 years will help make the shift to great schools across all areas of the country.

Tim Shannon


The Metropolitan Career and Technical Center

Providence, R.I.

Related Tags:

A version of this article appeared in the May 10, 2017 edition of Education Week as Teacher-Led Schools Offer Innovative Approach


Classroom Technology Webinar Building Better Blended Learning in K-12 Schools
The pandemic and the increasing use of technology in K-12 education it prompted has added renewed energy to the blended learning movement as most students are now learning in school buildings (and will likely continue

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

School & District Management Opinion ‘This Is Not What We Signed Up For’: A Principal’s Plea for More Support
School leaders are playing the role of health-care experts, social workers, mask enforcers, and more. It’s taking a serious toll.
Kristen St. Germain
3 min read
Illustration of a professional woman walking a tightrope.
Laura Baker/Education Week and uzenzen/iStock/Getty
School & District Management Letter to the Editor Educators Must Look to History When They Advocate for Changes
Educators and policymakers must be aware of the history of ideas when making changes in education, says this letter to the editor.
1 min read
Illustration of an open laptop receiving an email.
School & District Management Letter to the Editor Reconsidering Causes of Principal Burnout
The state and federal governments are asking us to implement policies that often go against our beliefs, says this letter to the editor.
1 min read
Illustration of an open laptop receiving an email.
School & District Management Teachers Want Their Administrators to Teach. Here's Why
Principals and other education administrators should even be required to spend time teaching in the classroom, according to teachers responding to an EdWeek query.
Hayley Hardison
4 min read
Teacher Principal 11122021 1310106400