The Importance Of Teacher Leadership And Empowerment Essay

The Importance Of Teacher Leadership And Empowerment Essay

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A. What is teacher leadership and empowerment and why should it be promote in schools?
The role of teacher leader has been defined as “teachers who aspire to stretch beyond their classrooms to engage in leadership roles that take many shapes and forms, both “informal and formal”. (ECS, 2010). Teacher leadership has also been described as “the process by which teachers, individually and collectively, influence their colleagues, principals, and other members of the school community to improve learning practices with the aim of increased student learning and achievement.” (ECS, 2010). In years past, a majority of teacher leadership roles took the form of department chair, committee chair, grade level chair, etc. It was more of a representative role versus a leadership role. Their responsibility primarily involved dispersing information from administration to their counterparts and taking information back to administration from the group. Their position lacked decision-making power and true leadership that brings about “real” change. These tasks are still viewed as opportunities for teacher leadership; however, recently, the position of teacher leader has taken on a more active and involved role.
For years, the idea of teacher leadership has been misunderstood and misinterpreted. It was commonly thought that teachers who pursued teacher leadership roles had an ulterior motive: administration. Dimock and McGree (2014) explained that “often the decision to take on leadership tasks has been accomplished by a decision to get out of teaching and into administration.” Berry, Daughtery, and Wieder (2010), contended, “Teachers have few opportunities to lead and influence both policy and program. In fact, teaching is a traditionally “flat...

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...basis-namely teachers-must be involved in the substantive decisions regarding changes that affect their day-to-day lives” (2003). Considering these perspectives, it makes perfect sense that teachers should be empowered to lead in school improvement efforts.
The final and main reason teacher leadership should be promoted deals with the fact it is also a standard by which teachers are evaluated. Standard 1 of the North Carolina Professional Teaching Standards: Teachers Demonstrate Leadership, targets five distinct areas in which teachers can exemplify leadership. These five areas include: their classrooms, their school, their profession, advocating for schools and students, and in demonstration of high ethical standards. For the purpose of this literature review, I would like to address the first three roles of leadership in the classroom, school, and the profession.

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