Teacher-Leaders: Everything You Need to Know

These are instructors who embody established critical leadership skills to unify other instructors/teachers and students. These skills commonly include trust-building, the inspiration of self-confidence, cordiality, detecting potential impediments and taking them out of the way, as well as handling a wide variety of responsibilities. In due course, these skills are beneficial to both teachers and students, invariably boosting the learning environment.

Today’s teacher leaders are forward-thinkers, collaborators, communicators, and connectors. They carry out many different roles to promote school and student success. Some common ones include:

Instructional specialist: An instructional specialist aids colleagues apply effective teaching strategies. This help may include planning lessons in partnership with other teachers or ideas for differentiating instruction. Instructional specialists may study research-based classroom strategies, explore which instructional methodologies are right for the school, and share the findings with colleagues.

Resource provider: Teachers aid their colleagues by sharing instructional resources. These may include instructional materials, readings, websites, or other types of resources to use with students. They may also share professional resources such as assessment tools, lesson or unit plans, books, and articles.

Classroom supporter: In this role, teacher leaders work inside classrooms to aid teachers in applying new ideas, often by co-teaching, observing and giving feedback, or demonstrating a lesson.

Curriculum specialist: Comprehending content standards, the way different components of the curriculum link together, and how to utilize the curriculum in planning assessment and instruction is crucial to ensuring consistency in curriculum implementation throughout a school. Curriculum specialists guide teachers to agree on standards, use common pacing charts, follow the adopted curriculum, and develop shared assessments.

Mentor: Serving as a mentor for new teachers is one of the common roles for teacher leaders. They serve as role models, help novice teachers acclimate to a new school, and advise novice teachers about curriculum, instruction, politics, procedures, and policies.

Learning facilitator: Facilitating professional learning opportunities among the school’s staff members is another common role for teacher leaders. When teachers learn from one another, they can concentrate on what most directly enhances student learning. Their professional learning becomes focused on teachers’ classroom work, more relevant, and aimed at filling gaps in student learning.

School leader: As school leaders, teacher leaders serve on a committee like a school improvement team, support school initiatives, act as a department or grade-level chair, or represent the school on district committees or task forces or community. School leaders share the school’s vision, align their professional goals with those of the district and school, and share responsibility for the school’s success as a whole.

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