Manogaran Suppiah


Executive Director


  • Posted 7 Years ago
  • 2.4k

Growing Teacher Leadership

How do we grow teacher leaders? Is there anyone out there who has some clarity on this phenomenon? Are there places where this has worked or work has started?

I am keen to develop this idea further with the vision the teachers see themselves as professionals who take charge of their learning and become leaders first in their areas of expertise and second as leader of fellow teachers.

What will motivate teachers to want to take greater ownership of their professional development?


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11 Feb 12, 01:42 PM

Agreed, some great replies here.  Tapping into a individuals passion certainly promotes the possibility that a teacher will lead and further contribute to an oraganization.  I look at it more for an organizational and building leader perspective.   If the school is organized in a way where teachers are called upon and acknowledged for being leaders then the possibility for leadership growth is certainly more likely.  I like the concept of a Professional Learning Community, where individuals are encouraged to learn from each other, given time to collaborate and work on the leaderhip tasks they have undertaken (the time I truly believe is a tremendous factor) and the expectation is that all teachers in the building are responsible for the success and continual improvement of the school.  I do have to say the building administrators capacity to lead and own dedication to growth is a signficant factor for creating a true PLC model with a school.  I have been in two schools that have incorparated the PLC concept within their structure.  One was lead by a high energy, dynamic building principal who consistently encouraged staff development and growth and who exhibited his own growth opportunities to his staff.  He believed in shared leadership and it was trully present within his school.  At another school, the Principal did not stress growth and shared leadership (or it least not consistently), therefore the school had all of the organization structure in place to have a PLC community, but unfortunately, this was not evident.  Time, school organization and Leadership at the top all matter when trying to encourage Teacher Leadership growth. 


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08 Jan 12, 07:29 PM

I agree with Suann and Christina.  I think that when teachers are given the opportunity to lead in an area of their passion or expertise, it provides a wonderful opportunity for the professional development of other teachers on the staff.  After all, innovative teachers are continually mindful of the need to implement new strategies and adopt a fresh approach to their practice, based on students' changing needs in an an ever-changing society.  If teachers adopt a 'Growth Mindset' by keeping updated about current trends and practices in education, and are able to lead by sharing their pedagogy, based on current research, merged with their everyday experience and practise in the classroom, is there really a better form of professional development?


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20 Apr 11, 08:37 PM

I agree with Suann.  I think teachers are an invaluable resource and harnessing their knowledge and interests is the way to grow teacher leaders.  I also think we need to tap into individual teacher strengths and use those.  Much like how we might use peer tutoring in our classrooms, pairing teachers with expertise or interests in one area (for example, differentiated instruction) with teachers who have expertise or interests in other areas (for example, use of technology) can result in excellent growth opportunities for individuals as well as the school community.  Recognizing the strengths of individuals also make providing professional development more effective as it allows a more individualized approach to training for teacher leaders.  I strongly believe that teachers are our most valuable asset in growing the profession and rebuilding American public schools.


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15 Apr 11, 10:32 AM

I think it's a question of what teachers are passionate about...just like when we differentiate classroom instruction for kids and we try to 'tap into' their interests, as leaders we need to be aware of what our teachers' needs and interests are. 

For a teacher to be a leader of their colleagues, it may be more of a matter of comfort level.  However, I do think that when you mix passion with knowledge, people become more comfortable with the notion of leadership in a certain area of expertise.



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10 Jan 11, 09:57 AM

I think teachers are motivated to improve if given the opportunity to connect with others. This semester I am planning a series of live, online sessions and complementary wiki for those interested in teaching English to students of other languages (TESOL).  Through constant support and guidance, the hope is that our teachers will be driven to share and learn from others in the field while at the same time learn about the different technologies required to make it all happen.


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06 Jan 11, 11:58 PM

A training that works in our faculty is DELEGATION. Once a certain task is delegated to a teacher, he/ she could be able to extract his/her personal knowledge and skills to come up with a good result. One factor that impedes the teacher in bringing out the best in him/her is the worry of being a failure. If the school admin will entrust the teacher and be responsible in doing a certain task he/she may develop leadership skills. But make sure that the goal/ objective for a certain task is well stated/defined so that the teacher could work in his/ her own style, phase, manner, creativity, etc.


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01 Dec 10, 09:42 AM

Hello Manogaran,

This is a great topic for discussion, and Lori Stollar has actually begun a book study on ASCD EDge on the topic of school leadership; perhaps you would like to collaborate or participate in the discussion?

Beginning November 15th and lasting through December 15th, they will read 'Book  One:Leadership Every Day' from the Leading Every Day text. They are supplementing that with chapter 4 of ASCD's School Leadership that Worksby Marzano, Waters, and McNulty. She is inviting participants to respond to her blog post to get the discussion started; reading the text is ideal, but not required.

Let me know if you have any questions, I hope this may help you with what you're seeking in terms of teacher leadership!


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