Recommendation Three:
Encourage the inclusion of teachers in community, school, district, and state level discussions related to helping all students learn at the highest possible levels.

Role Group Strategies

Include teacher leaders in decision-making processes for district-wide reform. Ensure that their expertise about what students need to succeed informs district policies.

Beyond Islands of Excellence: What Districts Can Do to Improve Instruction and Achievement in All Schools
Learning First Alliance (2003).
Learning First Alliance conducted a study of five high poverty districts that have greatly improved student achievement. Their findings showed that the districts shared seven distinctive traits that contribute to their success, one of which is redefining leadership roles in a manner that incorporates more teacher leaders. The report describes how the districts created a climate of collaboration and maps out the roles of different groups such as board members, state education leaders, teacher leaders, and parents under a distributed leadership model.


Forms of Teacher Leadership
Paulu, Nancy & Winters, Kirk. (1998). Department of Education
In this section of Teachers Leading the Way: Voices from the National Teacher Forum , the authors describe 14 forms of teacher leadership ranging from taking part in school decision-making, to sharing ideas with colleagues to becoming politically involved. An example of actions from real teachers accompanies the definition of each role.

Leadership Audit Tool:  A Participatory Management Checklist
Center for School and Community Development, North Central Regional Educational Laboratory
This online tool helps school administrators and leaders reflect on the degree of participatory management that they allow for within their own schools.  Covering areas related to decision-making and problem solving, survey takers get a chart showing their personal areas of strength and weakness.  This tool can be used multiple times during the course of a year, tracking progress and growth.  It can also be effective to identify the individual strengths of administrators across an entire county.

Redefining the Teacher as Leader
Usdan, M., McCloud, B., and Podmostko, M. (2001). Institute for Educational Leadership.
This report examines the potential power in enabling and encouraging teacher leadership.  It discusses roadblocks to teacher leadership, shares promising practices from districts around the country, and provides a list of “Suggested Questions” that communities can use to start discussions related to teacher leadership within their districts.

Building Teams to Rebuild Schools
Maeroff, Gene. Phi Delta Kappan 74.7 (1993)
This article describes the need for teams made up of teachers and administrators to lead school change. The piece gives tips on what types of activities these teams should be engaged in and how to develop the knowledge and skills necessary to be successful.

The Rocky Road To Empowerment
Willis, Scott. Education Update 36.2 (1994).
This article summarizes highlights from a presentation by Jerry Patterson, superintendent of schools in Appleton, Wisc., at ASCD's 21st Annual Symposium on Urban Curriculum and Instructional Leadership. Patterson contends that although many schools believe they have opened up participation in decision-making, such participation is still closely controlled by school leaders. True empowerment, he states, encourages teachers to voice conflicting opinions on important issues to yield more truthful and productive conversations. He also emphasizes the importance of creating an environment of trust and providing training in reaching consensus.

To Teach, To Lead, To Transform
Threshold (Summer 2005) Cable in the Classroom
This article considers the role of the teacher leader in the future of school reform. The authors describe the type of roles teacher leaders take on within a school, discuss the necessity of including teacher leadership in teacher preparation programs, and give a variety of answers to the question “What makes a teacher leader?”



If you have other resources to add or thoughts to share,
please email us at

data analysis | time | leadership | empowerment | prof development | facilities & resource