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.
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.
Guideline: Teachers in leadership roles assist their colleagues with identifying their professional learning needs. When doing so, they should also assess their own learning needs. The professional learning content should be based on data indicating the needs identified in the district for training. This task provides resources to identify areas for professional growth.
This link is to the Kansas Professional Development Guidelines. Though intended for Kansas teachers, its general content may be useful to teachers in other states when identifying areas for professional growth.
This link is to the Maryland Teacher Professional Development Planning Guide. Though intended for Maryland teachers, the guide's content may be useful to teachers in leadership roles in other states as they address professional learning needs.
This document provides information on five states' master teacher programs. The requirements vary by state. Teachers aspiring to a master teacher role should contact the respective teacher certification agency within their state.
This link is to the teacher leader model standards developed by the Teacher Leader Exploratory Consortium.
This document provides information on six states' teacher leader guidelines. The requirements vary by state. Teachers aspiring to a teacher leader role should contact the respective teacher certification agency within their state.