Teaching Profession

You Do Have Time to Be a Teacher Leader

By Ross Brenneman — October 16, 2014 1 min read

There’s just not enough time in the day, right? That’s a fact of life for many—parents, students, education bloggers—and it’s also true for teachers.

Teachers in the United States already work 53 hours a week on average. There are class demands, grades, extracurricular advising, being a parent—all that kind of business. So when someone comes along and says, “Hey, be a teacher leader,” well, c’mon. Where’s that time going to come from?

But in Wednesday night’s Education Week Twitter chat, participants overwhelmingly rejected that perspective, saying that leadership opportunities helped prevent time loss later. They said the leadership options allow teachers to understand their weaknesses, as well as develop skills in other teachers to improve collaboration, thereby improving the workload (and education) in the long run.

As for who can be a teacher leader, the chat also looked at formal and informal methods of stepping up, with a frequent consensus that informal leadership empowers colleagues just as much as the formal kind.

And the keyword throughout the night was “opportunity,” in all forms: Opportunities given by administrators, seizing opportunities that present themselves, and taking opportunities to build leadership in others.

There was a lot of empowerment talk. I thought some Kumbaya might break out, but alas, no such luck.

Here’s a condensed version of the chat, but you can see the whole conversation by looking at #ewedchat:

Image credit: JuergenG/Rainer Z

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Teaching Now blog.