Thursday, February 19, 2009

Someone in a different education forum posed the question: Should teacher leadership courses be included in a preservice teacher's classes?
Here is my answer, in part:
Being a leader in your building or district is NOT about the title. All teachers, new or experienced, have the potential to become powerful leaders. Empowering preservice teachers with those leadership skills and aspirations should be a critical component of the teacher prep process.

What does it take to be an effective teacher leader?
~ a strong personal vision of your own goals and the conviction to stand by them
~a willingness to listen and learn alongside those around you
~the courage to be right, the courage to be wrong
~a dedication to empowering others - a non-need to be the one in control/with the title, but a desire to manifest change
~commitment to modeling professionalism

All teachers can and should be leaders in some way. It might be curriculum work, technology, working with students outside the structured school day in sports or extracurriculars, or simply leading by professionalism.

Given this necessity for all to be leaders, yes, teacher prep programs should teach and prepare for leadership roles.
Often, the most effective leaders, the ones who make the most positive changes in a school, are not the ones with the "power". Let's work to facilitate this skill!

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