As a teacher leader, you’ll wear many hats. You’ll be a mentor to teachers and students alike. You’ll build relationships with the community and other stakeholders to improve student achievement. You will develop programs to assist special learners, including economically disadvantaged and special education students.
On the most basic level, a teacher leader is someone other teachers can look to for guidance and information. You will be the go-to person when your fellow teachers are looking for research sources such as websites, articles and books that will improve instruction and student achievement. Or, a teacher leader may simply provide helpful, informational materials for the classroom.
Mentoring new teachers — and those with less experience — is crucial to the success of the students and the school. Teacher leaders may help new educators with lesson plans, instruction methods and assessment standards. They may find themselves showing a new teacher around the school, describing processes and procedures, and even explaining school politics. This will help the newcomers move into their roles more quickly so they can get to the important work: teaching.
Being a school leader isn’t just for principals and other administrators. Teacher leaders serve on committees or may act as a department chair. They may also represent the school in community groups that have a stake in the success of the school. This may include sharing the vision of the school with these groups and building support. Teacher leaders also sponsor and lead school initiatives of all sorts.
As a teacher leader, you may be a part of policy decisions at the school, district, state or even national level. Sad but true, education policy is often written by people who have never worked in a public school classroom. One way teacher leaders can effect policy change is by providing information to decision-makers who may not be as familiar with the issues.
Teacher leaders take on a variety of roles, all of which support student achievement, the success of schools and the betterment of communities and the nation. If you are interested in becoming a teacher leader, you can look into the Lamar University online M.Ed. in Teacher Leadership program.