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Roundup Post: What Makes a Teacher Leader?

By Education Week Staff — July 31, 2012 1 min read

By guest blogger Leanne Link, communications assistant at the Center for Teaching Quality

As this month’s Roundtable participants pointed out, teacher leaders are everywhere. Many lead in nontraditional or unrecognized ways, as Jane Fung and Patrick Ledesma reminded us. At the same time, bloggers were able to identify some effective habits that many teacher leaders hold in common.

Teacher leaders ...

Spread positivity. Cheryl Suliteanu advises teachers leaders to “approach others with solutions-focused ideas. Speak with good intentions, and be an active listener with a positive perspective.”

Share their voices. Lillie Marshall urges teachers to make their voices heard via social media, and Justin Minkel encourages teachers to use their expertise to shape education policy.

Advocate for their profession. Jessica Cuthbertson, Jane Fung, and Noah Patel emphasize the importance of the seventh domain of the Teacher Leader Model Standards.

Lead beyond the education sphere. Lillie Marshall explains how she didn’t consider herself a teacher leader until she left the country and got involved beyond the classroom.

Value partnerships. Collaboration with colleagues is key for 21st-century teaching and learning, says Justin Minkel. And teachers and parents can also form productive working relationships, Cheryl Suliteanu notes.

Several bloggers posed ideas about how teacher leaders’ work can best be supported at a systems level.

Patrick Ledesma suggests that policymakers support more formal leadership positions, as well as career ladders that allow for varied entryways and specializations.

Noah Patel shares Boston’s teacher leadership certification program as a model that other districts can learn from.

What would you add? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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