WHY LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT FOR TEACHERS AND WHY NOW
Teachers acting as leaders, can become more effective in helping students from all walks of life to realize that doing well in school is now more important than ever in living a good life in America. It is leadership that awakens insight in others and informs others effectively of truths and especially new truths in our society. Leaders gain the respect of others. As teachers become better leaders, students will listen more carefully to their words and heed their advice. Leaders deliver the message clearly and the message is: Do poorly in school and your chances of having a good job and earning a good living are not good.
Improving Leadership Will Improve Teacher Effectiveness…
Improved leadership development, we believe, can be instrumental in helping teachers to become better teachers. Larger and larger class sizes require exponentially greater leadership skills by teachers to reach and connect with every student. Delivering the subject matter to diverse student populations requires greater leadership skills than delivering the subject matter to students from the same backgrounds as the teachers and fellow students.
The efforts toward “mass customization” of education, the integrating of special educational students into classes with other students, the inclusion of gifted students whose home life provides awesome educational opportunities through the web, tutors, role models, and the like, all require a new set of leadership skills not required when these populations were isolated in schools.
All of these large social issues impact education in a way that demands that teachers have improved leadership skills to navigate the rugged landscape that education presents today. We have thousands of school districts and hundreds of thousands of schools in the United States. Now with the internet, teachers from one school district can mentor and work with teachers from other school districts to become better leaders. School districts should encourage this. Teachers who want to become better leaders can now reach across district lines, even state and regional lines, to become better leaders and to help other teachers become better leaders.
Leadership and Improving Educational Outcomes…
Every teacher wants to see improved educational outcomes. The leadership development ideas, theories, strategies, practices and approaches in this book are merely one set of strategies that can play a part in improving educational outcomes. They are also a start to improve teacher and faculty morale, and teacher engagement. Improved leadership abilities by teachers can improve student involvement. We predict that improving the leadership abilities of all teachers will reduce the number of teachers who leave the profession.
We also believe that improving the leadership abilities of teachers will have a trickle up effect of improving the leadership abilities of principals and administrators, and improve the relationships between teachers and principals. Improving the leadership abilities of teachers can significantly reduce the incidence of students dropping out, reduce student cheating, and could have a positive impact on student behavioral problems. Ultimately, improving the leadership abilities of teachers across the board could lead to improving educational outcomes.
* The concept is incredibly important. I believe that building leadership capacity at all levels of school districts is essential if we are to solve our problems of practice and focus on continuous improvement...[read more]
Cindy Stevenson Superintendent, Jefferson County Schools, Golden CO