A Tcher’s Take On Teacher Leadership

What Does It Mean To Be A Teacher Leader?

Teacher Leadership. The definition seems elusive.

Two deceptively simple words, when strung together, are more complex than the Google search algorithm.

The reality is teacher leadership takes many shapes. Teacher leadership can be formalized with a title, but it can also emerge informally as that one teacher who is your go-to person — every time. Some teachers are leaders in the classroom, always on the cutting edge with new pedagogy and technology. Some extend their influence into the extracurricular and co-curricular spheres as coaches and advisors to students honing their talents and pursuing their passions. There are teachers who emerge as leaders in their school buildings as team leaders, department chairs, instructional coaches, and the like. They sit on committees and give input as a part of shared leadership teams. And sometimes their influence will reach throughout their entire district as they plan, implement, and deliver professional development that helps move the entire school community toward it’s goals and vision. But it doesn’t end there.

Teachers may become active leaders in their education associations on local, county, state, and national levels. They might interact with government, non-profit organizations, education advocacy groups, and policy makers to use their voice to influence decisions and policy on a much larger scale. And, we can’t forget the active tribe of teacher leaders building networks and changing the shape of education over the World Wide Web via Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest — the list goes on and on.

Teachers are bloggers and authors. They are speakers and national presenters. They are entrepreneurs.

What’s most fantastic about all of these teachers? Teachers lead, in many cases, without leaving the classroom.

We want you to know we see you. We honor your similarities and your differences. We want to help you solve problems and find the resources you need. And we value your input.

Help Us Break Through Our Echo Chamber

Believe it or not, we think a lot of our ideas are innovative and worthy of a little celebration now and then. But that’s just it — they’re our ideas. Teaching Channel has always been about supporting YOUR professional learning — every step of the way. That’s why we’re intentional about investing time listening to teacher stories, collecting experiences, and asking questions. It’s the only way we can be absolutely sure we’re doing our best to give you the tools, resources, and opportunities you need to be your best in the classroom every day — for your students, for yourself, for your community, and for the profession.

If you consider yourself a Teacher Leader, we need to hear from you!

  • Who? Teacher Leaders
  • What? Complete the Tch Teacher Leadership Survey
  • When? On or before August 19, 2016
  • Why? Because we have something amazing in the works — just for you. But we need your input and your voice. You are the expert, after all, and no one knows what challenges you face or what support teachers need better than you.

Please join us. Let’s get better together!

Lisa is Editorial Content Manager for Teaching Channel. She is a former high school Social Studies teacher and Department Chair, who has experience planning and implementing professional development, with educational technology integration and innovation, and teaching and learning with the Literacy Design Collaborative framework. Lisa is also an adjunct professor, working closely with pre-service social studies teachers and behavioral science students at Lebanon Valley College and the Pennsylvania State University. She is passionate about storytelling, teacher voice and leadership, collaboration, innovative instruction, social learning, and redefining professional development. Lisa is a member of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Teacher Advisory Council, several ECET2 Steering Committees, and is a Co-Founder, Director, and Writing Coach for the National Blogging Collaborative, a non-profit organization that cultivates and supports the capacity of all educators to use their unique voice to elevate the craft of teaching and learning. Connect with Lisa on Teaching Channel or on Twitter: @lisa_hollenbach.


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