The Teacher Leader KnowledgeBase

Element 1: Understand the Teacher Leader Concept

Purpose: A brief from the National Comprehensive Center for Teacher Quality on the role of teacher leadership in education innovation states, "Teacher leadership is the process by which teachers, individually or collectively, formally influence their colleagues, principals, and other members of the school community to improve teaching and learning practices with the goal of increased student learning and achievement." There are different forms of teacher leader roles including "teacher leader," "master teacher," "peer mentor," or "academic coach." Element 1 provides overview information on the approaches to and models of teacher leadership.

Activity 1: Be Aware of Teacher Leader Approaches and Models

Activity 2: Study Organizational Dynamics

Element 2: Prepare to Be a Teacher Leader

Purpose: A teacher aspiring to be a "teacher leader," "master teacher," "peer mentor" or "academic coach" should first investigate the nature of such role, how the role might fit with his or her abilities, and identify the associated educational and certification/licensure requirements of each role. Element 2 provides information to assist a teacher in preparing for a teacher leader role.

Activity 1: Explore Teacher Leader Role

Activity 2: Learn About Teacher Leader Education Programs

Element 3: Recruit Teacher Leaders

Purpose: To recruit teacher leaders effectively, a district needs to have a plan of action. The plan should identify the teacher leader role within the district, define the prerequisites for the role, and reflect applicable state standards or certification or licensure guidelines and an awareness of educational programs providing course work associated with the teacher leader role. Element 3 provides resources to assist the district in developing such a plan.

Activity 1: Determine Teacher Leader Roles

Activity 2: Learn About Teacher Leader Education Programs

Task 1: Enhance Interactions with Families and Other Stakeholders


Guideline: Family and community involvement has been demonstrated to be an essential element of a successful school. Teachers in leadership roles assist their colleagues in enhancing their interaction with families and other stakeholders. Other stakeholders might include community leaders, leaders of organizations external to the schools, and possibly leaders of ethnic groups within the community. This task provides resources to assist teacher leaders in supporting their colleagues.

Helping Your Child

This link is to the U.S. Department of Education's Helping Your Child publication series. As noted at its website, "These booklets feature practical lessons and activities to help their school aged and preschool children master reading, understand the value of homework and develop the skills and values necessary to achieve and grow."

National PTA

This link is to the the National PTA website.


Parent Information and Resource Centers

This link is to the Parent Information and Resource Centers (PIRCs) funded by the U.S. Department of Education. As noted at its website, the centers "bring parents, educators, and those that work with families a wealth of information about helping children get ready for school and succeed in school, from the early grades through high school."


School Community Network

This link is to the School Community Network website. As noted at its website, "The School Community Network (SCN) provides resources and tools to build strong school communities." Families-Schools.org formerly sponsored by the Center on Innovation and Improvement is now part of the School Community Network.


Six Types of School-Family-Community Involvement

This National Network of Partnership Schools webpage discusses six types of cooperation among families, schools, and other community organizations as identified by Johns Hopkins University Center on School, Family, and Community Partnerships Director Joyce Epstein.

Element 4: Act as a Teacher Leader

Purpose: A teacher in a peer leadership role helps colleagues improve their professional practice, supports collaboration and instructional strategies, and encourages professional learning. Fulfilling these roles successfully is the essence of teacher leadership. Element 4 provides resources to assist in becoming an effective teacher leader.

Activity 1: Act as a Peer Mentor/Coach to Improve Professional Practice of Colleagues

Activity 2: Support Collaboration and Instructional Strategies

Activity 3: Advocate for Professional Learning

Element 5: Improve as a Teacher Leader

Purpose: Teachers in leadership roles must attend to their own continuing professional learning to enhance their abilities to support colleagues to improve their instructional capabilities. Teacher leaders could have a dual teaching role, one with their students and the other with their peers. Element 5 provides resources to assist teacher leaders in addressing their professional learning.

Activity 1: Develop Individual Professional Learning Plan