How Lead Teachers Can Demonstrate Leadership at School Level
Recent research studies highlight that for securing and sustaining school improvement effective leadership is generally accepted as being a central component where authority to lead in schools not to be located on notion of singular leadership practiced by principal. As Muijis & Harris (2003) explain that, “In effective leadership, it is sense that leadership is separated from person, roles and status and is primarily concerned with relationships and the connections among individuals within a school” (p.437). Authority to lead need to be displayed within school in between and among people such as teachers who have crucial roles to play in preparing students for life long learners. Teachers understand how students learn so they need to be involved in school level decision-making and have autonomy to design, implement and assess educational activities in their classroom. The idea of teacher leadership is now widely accepted and acknowledge by many researchers like (Smylie; 1995, Hargreaves; 1997, Grown; 2002, Little; 2000, Chenoweth & Everhart; 2002 &Harris; 2003). Therefore it is progressively more expected from researchers to introduce teacher leadership in schools, by preparing teachers through professional development programs, which empower teachers to assume leadership roles as teacher educators, mentors, facilitator, subject coordinators, head of department and advisors. These expanded roles are seen as enhancing teacher empowerment and professionalism by giving practitioners access to knowledge, skills, and powers to exercise independently their professional responsibilities beyond the classroom and building collaboration with colleagues to learn from each other experiences. This will lead towards teachers’ professional and personal growth, which will ultimately contribute in school improvement (Lecos, Evans, Leahy & Lies; 2000). The shift towards more collaborative and teacher leadership from single leadership within schools is like paradigm shift but exactly what do we mean by teacher leadership in school and why leadership for teacher? How lead teachers can demonstrate leadership in school level and how can it be enhanced and develop in schools? This paper looks into answering these basic questions. According to literature there are main six arenas in which lead teachers might reasonably demonstrate leadership at school level: 1.Lead teachers continue to teach and improve their own and other teaching.2.Lead teachers contribute in establishing collaborative culture among teachers 3.Encourage parental involvement in school. 4. Lead teachers organized and lead well-informed peer reviews of school practice. 5. Lead teachers play mediate role in school improvement 6 Lead teachers build trust and rapport with stakeholders (Kathleen; 1987, Harris and Day; 2003, Little; 2000 and Lieberman et al; 2000). However due to word limit I would only be able to focus on the first two arenas in details.
To seek clear definition of teacher leadership is quite complex as there are overlapping and competing definitions of the term in literature, but as this paper focuses on how lead teachers demonstrate leadership in school so I go with the definition of “teacher leadership” which I developed by understanding definitions provided by Katzenmeyer & Moller and Boles &Troen cited in Mujis &Harris (2003) “ it is form of collective leadership in which teachers are skillful involved in work of leadership, teachers have opportunities to improve their teaching and leadership skills through professional development initiatives and by working collaboratively within and beyond the classroom towards improved educational practice”. Why leadership for teachers
School’s ability to improve and sustain improvement largely depends upon its ability to foster professional learning community where teachers participate in leadership activities and decision making, having shared vision...
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