How can you empower teachers to become effective leaders? Discover strategies to reach your potential by supporting and developing teacher leadership on your campus. Achieving your education goals has never been easier when you understand how to implement effective teacher leadership strategies successfully.
Owner of Next Level Consulting, Dr. Chris Jones, discovered his calling for improving the lives of administrators, teachers, and students. He is the Executive Director for VASCD and recently served as the Principal of Thomas Dale High School in Chesterfield County Public Schools, VA. Dr. Jones found his passion for education following his service as a United States Army Airborne Ranger. You can learn more about his philosophy in his inspirational course, Be the Light – Teacher Leaders Who Show and Do.
1. Modeling High-Quality Instruction
Dr. Jones recommends that teacher leaders allow visitors to observe their classroom as often as possible so they can model the expected behavior. He explains this as, “having your classroom open for other teachers you work with to come see you, admire your craft, and learn from you as well.” This will create a reciprocal relationship allowing others to learn from your example and offer feedback on what could be improved.
2. Facilitating Learning Walks
The second strategy involves asking some crucial guiding questions. After an aspiring teacher leader has visited the classroom and made their observations, they will collect data determining the objectives such as, “Can we tell what the lesson was designed to achieve?” Dr. Jones suggests reflecting on which students it may or may not be working for afterward.
A good way to help record this data is by drawing the overall room layout. Dr. Jones likes to include where the students are sitting while making notes of their interactions with the teacher and other students. “What is the level of depth and complexity in that discourse while the students are working collaboratively, whether they’re working on an assignment or engaged in dialog?”
Next, Dr. Jones emphasizes the importance of building teacher leaders through co-teaching. He uses a five-question framework to provide teachers and their students with the highest quality instruction. “Who do we teach? What do we teach? How do we teach? How do we assess? And how do we respond?” These questions are intended to improve your cultural competence, build trusted relationships, and deepen students’ learning.
4. Team Collaboration
This final strategy will impact your ability to plan, implement, and support the work of teachers in collaborative teams. Dr. Jones stresses the importance of establishing a set of rules regarding the curriculum and what you want the students to learn. This ensures everyone is on the same page while improving student learning outcomes.
Collaborating with a team helps teacher leaders shine through discussing important questions, such as “Did the kids learn what we wanted them to understand, and did they get it to a level of depth and complexity that we intended so that our expectations for rigor are present and we have evidence of it?” To achieve this, teachers must have dedicated time within the master schedule to collaborate as a team. All of these strategies combined can set teacher leaders up for a successful career filled with continuous learning, growth, and inspiring others.
Interested in learning more about becoming a successful teacher leader? Explore the course demo on Be the Light – Teacher Leaders Who Show and Do today!