Are you a teacher? Are you a leader? Then you might have heard of the phrase “teacher leader.” It’s become a significant aspect of school-improvement discussions.
Every first and third Wednesday of every month, Education Week holds a Twitter chat to discuss a select topic, and tonight, Oct. 15, we’re going to talk about teachers leading. The chat begins at 8 p.m. ET under the hashtag #ewedchat, and will hopefully be both fun and informative.
Here’s the prompt: Why isn’t leadership built into the job expectations that go with teaching?
One of Education Week Teacher‘s opinion bloggers, David B. Cohen, is currently traversing California to study good teaching, and noted this in a post last week:
Instead of highlighting teacher leaders as exceptions, I’m hoping the day will come when any teacher with more than novice-level experience will hold some type of leadership position.
Teacher leadership is something that the education community talks about so much that it can be hard to understand why it hasn’t taken greater hold in schools. After all:
- The U.S. Education Department’s joint effort with the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, Teach to Lead, is preparing to up its outreach in 2015.
- There is no shortage of organizations devoting themselves to the teacher-leadership idea. (See here, here, here, and here.)
- The National Education Association outlines standards for teacher leadership.
- Check out Larry Ferlazzo’s collection of teacher-leadership posts or the Leadership 360 blog.
If effectively implemented, teacher leadership is said to make a big difference, but with so much encouragement of that leadership taking place, maybe the best question to ask is, why isn’t leadership taken for granted in teaching? Is this an effect of education policy, or administration, or preparation, or teaching itself? Or is this all just a red herring—is leadership something that exists in spades in teachers everywhere, but it’s not always visible? Or is the focus on this kind of leadership just overblown?
Join me for a chat about these questions tonight at 8 p.m. using #ewedchat.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Teaching Now blog.