THE POTENTIAL FOR IMPROVED LEADERSHIP BY TEACHERS TO ACHIEVE SYSTEMIC CHANGE IN PREK-12 EDUCATION
The Historical Context for Leadership for Teachers…
It is important to acknowledge while few teachers receive leadership development training, that there have been many who have advocated this before. There have been books, articles, conferences, and working papers on school reform, especially from the 1990’s and the role that improving the leadership identity, skills, and activities of teachers could contribute to this reform.
The work of Joseph Murphy has documented this work brilliantly and has furthered it considerably. Work by ETS today is seeking to define teacher leadership in a new manner. Work by the Educational Commission for the States is also delving into how improving the ability of teachers will improve schools and create systemic change in PreK-12 education.
Leaders are those who investigate and learn new technologies to the best of their abilities. We see how improved leadership skills for teachers will translate into a greater willingness and ability to embrace and learn new technologies that may be both time saving to teachers, and enhance the student learning experience. There is much in new information technology that can aid schools and teachers need to be trained in this new technology.
Helping Teachers Find Their Voice in School Improvement Efforts…
This book is about voice. As better leaders, teachers will become even more vocal in demanding the type of training that they believe will help improve student outcomes and help improve their lives as teachers. We see teachers, as they become better leaders, also becoming more innovative with technology in the school and having the leadership skill attempt to learn new technologies that seem today to be out of their reach. We see teachers, as they become better leaders, using their voice to help bring about changes in schools that they believe will improve their schools.
Improving Teachers’ Leadership Abilities Will Result in More Support…
We are not asking teachers to effort more. We are asking teachers to lead more and, when they do, their influence on schools, students, the community, the resources made available to education in the United States, and the public support for education in the United States will increase substantially. This is our prediction.
The results will depend on the quality of leadership that individual teachers and groups of teachers can attain. We have confidence that the 3,663,000 PreK-12 teachers in the United States can all become more effective leaders in their schools.
The Essential Role of Sharing Your Leadership Development Work…
We also encourage teachers to share with other teachers and school personnel why and how improving the leadership qualities of teachers is an important way to improve schools. Undertaking these activities need not be done alone. There are many people out there to support teachers as seek to become better leaders as long as teachers let them know of their commitment to become better leaders. That is why undertaking all of these exercises and not letting other teachers, parents, other school personnel, and the community know of this new leadership development movement among teachers is a sure fire way to limit the effectiveness of these exercises and to limit the effectiveness of teachers, as a whole, as leaders.
* 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