Teacher Leadership = Student Success (Early Learning, Teacher Induction, & Instructional Coaching)
Teachers are the single most important factor in student success outside of the home, yet teaching is often not thought of as leadership role. One big step in building and supporting the profession is providing teachers leadership opportunities to excel and grow. Currently, leadership roles are more often associated with administrators and principals, leaving teachers few leadership options. Helping to develop teacher leaders is essential to fostering excellence in our schools and elevating the profession as a whole.
- How can districts empower and build the leadership capacity of teachers in their district?
- What does teachers leadership look like when it is well-developed in a school, district or program?
- How can teacher education programs, induction programs and schools/districts position teachers as leaders from the get go?
- What systemic barriers hinder teachers from viewing themselves as leaders and how can those barriers be removed?
- Why is mentoring and coaching critical to leadership development? What makes it successful and what is challenging?
- Given the importance of early learning, what unique development is needed to build the leadership capacity of PreK teachers?
- What is the optimal role of instructional coaches and how can they offer critical support and build the capacity of new teacher, school and district leaders?
Schools as Change Agents (School Leadership & Culture)
Administrators and school leaders are essential to student achievement. Leading school culture, curriculum, and programs, they develop key supports for students and empower instructional leaders. But, to be successful, they must fully understand what students need and leverage the leadership within their schools to create change that drives student success.
- How do administrators and school leaders create a system that supports teachers and students?
- How can school leaders leverage the leadership capacity of their staff to drive student success?
- How can school and administrative leaders partner to create environments that support to social emotional needs of students?
- Where should administrators look for research and best practices that could better their own school practices?
- What are key focus areas administrators should develop in preparing the next generation of instructional leaders in their districts?
- How do you build strong instructional teams that empower the leadership of teachers?
- How could the education system be restructured to better support teacher and administrator relationships?
- What policies (local, state, and national) could better support this restructured system?
From Education to Social Justice (Equity, Advocacy, & Policy)
In 2014, for the first time, children of color became the student majority in our nation’s public schools. Classrooms are more diverse, students are at different learning levels, and educators are being challenged to adapt their instructional practices in order to ensure all their students succeed. Academic success occurs when educators know how to develop a positive community, cultivate resilience, and use strategies that honor the learning profiles of all students. Thus it is imperative that educators, districts, and states promote equity in their classrooms, schools, and districts. But, in promoting equity, it is important to consider:
- What role do teachers, teacher leaders, districts, and states play in setting the stage for an equitable student environment? What barriers exist to creating this environment, and what programs work to overcome such barriers?
- How can districts empower and build the leadership capacity of teachers to help students succeed, given learner variabilities and their various skills, needs, and backgrounds, including race, ethnicity, socio-economic status, gender, sexual identity, rural/urban settings, English as a second language, and disability status?
- How does a culturally responsive pedagogy support student equity, and is it being integrated into existing teacher support programs?
- What more could teacher, school, and district leaders do to integrate a culturally responsive pedagogy and social-emotional learning?
- How is your program, school, or district creating a climate that honors all learners, students and adults? How does instruction and assessment support this climate?
- In our current political climate, how can we elevate the voices of students, parents and educators to create support for critical programs?
The Future Starts Now (Leadership, Innovation, & Funding)
Public education has seen a transformation in how teachers approach instruction. Teachers are responsible for a wide demographic of students, and their instructional practices have evolved to meet student needs. Personalized learning, project-based learning, education technology, and alternative professional learning models have all been recent additions to the education field. Teacher, school, and district leaders have had to adapt in many ways to accommodate such innovations, but are they, along with charter networks, states, and county agencies, prepared for new, unforeseen innovations to come?
- What new innovations could/should districts and schools prepare for?
- How are districts, schools, and school networks prepared to manage new, future innovations? What role do states and counties play to support them?
- What barriers do these groups need to overcome to successfully implement such innovations?
- How can we empower teachers to lead innovation, now and in the future?
- How do you optimize the role technology in personalized learning?
- How can we leverage learning from innovators to influence wide-scale implementation?
- What is the classroom of the future and how are teachers trained to lead in it?
- What are the various funding models schools and districts can look to support these new innovations?