The Teacher Leader KnowledgeBase aims to raise awareness of the teacher leader role at the district level and to support teachers aspiring to the teacher leader role through master's degree-level university programs.
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.
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.
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.
Guideline: Within the classroom, the use of data takes many forms. Teachers in leadership roles assist their colleagues in understanding the forms of data and their use in formulating instructional strategies and assessing students. This task provides resources to assist teacher leaders in supporting their colleagues.
Using data effectively involves understanding how to use it and being aware of the challenges that entails. The lists offered from Getting Excited About Data (2nd ed): Combining People, Passion and Proof to Maximize Student Achievement highlight how high performing schools use data as well as listing challenges and impediments faced.
This article from ASCD's Educational Leadership publication explores questions that should be addressed when analyzing student data.
This link is to the School Improvement in Maryland website's information on data analysis. Though intended for Maryland districts, the content may be useful to educators in other states.
This document contains links to national and state education data sources. The content may be useful to educators when developing a school profile.
This link is to an Institute of Education Sciences (IES) What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) practice guide on the use of student achievement data. As noted in the document's overview, "The purpose of this practice guide is to help K-12 teachers and administrators use student achievement data to make instructional decisions intended to raise student achievement."
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.
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.