“Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.” – Jack Welch
Leaders pave the path for others so that they can achieve exceptional outcomes. It can be said that, right from the early stages of education, teachers are the ones who shape a child’s path towards development. They are the ultimate mentors of an individual, who shape their future, ensuring overall growth. Adding leadership and management qualities in their character, will enhance their roles of being more than just teachers. Erstwhile, the aspect of leadership was only left to the Principals of an educational facility. Collectively, teachers’ responsibilities were only to educate the students with the set of curriculum designed by the institution. But with the changing world and incoming trends in the educational sector, more responsibilities are handed out to the teachers. With Student learning transforming into a collaborative initiative, it is the responsibility of the school to create circumstances where students and teachers engage in productive discussions. In the coming age, teachers will also play a crucial role in managing the school and its students all the while collaborating with the principals and other teachers to build a safe learning environment. Consequently, this will bring benefits for everyone, including educators, who will ultimately be calling themselves as “Teacher Leaders”.
Spheres of Competence
By honing their leadership qualities, teachers can not only improve themselves but can also assist students to excel in academics and other related domains. Some of the useful techniques are:
Resource and data provider- A lot of data is provided to teachers to drive classroom instructions. Various sources such as websites, instructional materials, readings, professional resources, articles, books, assessment tools, lessons, and unit plans are provided to the teachers so that they can enable others to improve their instruction-based learning. A teacher turned leaders’ role is to collect this data and share it with their peers to help them understand the resources and how to utilize them with the students. Instructional and Curriculum Specialist- The curriculum specialists are the teachers, who apply the best of curriculum according to the success needs of the students as well as schools. These teacher leaders then lead other teachers to agree on this curriculum. They can further assist them in adopting and following it throughout the year.
A curriculum specialist plays his/her role by helping their colleagues in implementing effective teaching strategies into classrooms. In partnership with their peers, they can plan lessons and instructions-based on different ideas. On research-based classroom strategies, the specialists can explore methodologies, which best suit them according to the curriculum.
Classroom Supporter Learning Facilitator and Mentor Learner- Learning has no resemblance with age or personal boundaries. Each and every member of the society is eligible for learning. Even educated teachers need to learn according to changes in educational reforms in order have better understanding of the updated world. This also applies to the schools benefits. An educated teacher can help facilitate other teachers in learning new techniques and strategies, which they can implement in their classrooms. With co-learning, professional learning becomes more relevant in improving students’ learning and breaking the isolation norms. These supporters help other teachers with new ideas, often by demonstrating a lesson, observing and giving feedback Acting as a facilitator and supporter for experienced teachers also expand the roles of a person. It is the responsibility of the mentor to accept the new teachers in the school with a warm welcome. The
mentor helps the new teachers in adjusting with the school’s environment, advising them about the, procedures, practices, curriculum, and instructions. It is a significant role to be played by the teacher leaders for the development of the new professionals. School Leader- A teacher leader’s responsibilities not only lies to his/her domain but also lies with the others. They also act as a school leader, representing the school on a community or district level aligning with the goals of a school and district and sharing the responsibility of the school’s success as an integral. The Catalyst For Change- Even an established school is bound to changes according to the changing environment in the educational sector. So here, teacher leaders, acting as a catalyst are the visionaries who are always flexible in implementing changes for good rather than being dormant. This role allows them to be confident in their work and have a strong commitment to improvement, by generating an analysis for student learning. Liaison For Parents, Community, And School- Collaborating with the Principal and other teachers is not the only responsibility of a teacher leader. They also need to cooperate and coordinate with families and the community. It is the responsibility of teacher leaders to engage parents and the community in the school. Acting as a liaison between the parents and students helps the school to have a more direct connection in students to growth academically as well as personally. Also, joining forces with the community will help them to bring in the resources required for the implementation of the new learning techniques such as internship programs. The role a teacher leader should be in collaboration with the Principal and other school administrators by catering to the improvement in instructions and implementing the strategic practices among other teachers to improve student learning. Generally, a teacher become the leader by being approachable, utilizing group skills, support collaborative team structures, and being continuous leaders all the while keeping respect for the Principal and other teachers. Developing the teacher’s role according to the changing environment and the need for the school will only help schools to achieve relevant goals but will also enhanced the teacher’s development as a whole person.