Teacher leadership is in high demand in school districts and institutions across the nation. Teacher leadership is the process by which teachers work collaboratively with other faculty, staff, and community members to improve teaching practices that enrich the learning environment and lead to higher achieving classrooms.
Teacher leaders have the skills necessary to lead school and district-wide initiatives and projects such as new technology implementation, or professional learning community (PLC) facilitation. Teacher leaders may stay in the classroom where their passion is, and where they feel they can make the greatest impact, however, many expand their careers into roles that are key to facilitating improvements in instruction, student outcomes, and peer development.
The online Master of Education in Teacher Leadership at the University of Delaware offers a strong and effective program that can be completed in as few as two years that provides the necessary skills to teachers looking to hold leadership positions in their schools or districts.
What skills are needed to become a teacher leader?
Here’s a breakdown of the skills and characteristics that teachers need to lead in today’s challenging education system:
- Understanding of changing state standards and standards’ aligned curriculum
Teachers must have a solid understanding of their changing state standards, and a desire to use that knowledge to implement quality curricula that challenges students, while maintaining high test scores. The changes to state standards are a controversial topic in the education system right now, and it takes a skilled teacher to comprehend the standards and work within the system to impact student learning.
- Ability to turn research into action
Teacher leaders can analyze data and create actionable plans that help students and a school excel. This skill helps teachers look beyond test scores, and use the statistical information to find areas for improvement.
- Desire to support faculty
A teacher leader has the desire to help other faculty members become the most effective teachers possible. By designing and hosting professional development opportunities, teacher leaders motivate others to set and achieve high standards in their classrooms.
- Foster technology-based collaboration
Teacher leaders utilize technology to foster partnerships with colleagues in their school and among other teachers in their network. Ideas can be shared without geographical limitations, in real time, so all teachers can benefit from new and useful practices.
- Promoting Equity
Teacher leaders have the ability to identify and address problems that may be disadvantaging specific groups of students. By exploring a school’s policies, structures, and practices, a leader can identify barriers to promote equitable access to a high quality education for every student.
What positions do teacher leaders hold?
There are a variety of positions that teacher leaders are qualified to hold. Here’s a list of possible job titles:
- Department chair
- Faculty mentor
- Instructional coach/specialist
- Curriculum or assessment coach/specialist
- Professional learning facilitator
- Master teacher
- PLC lead teacher
- Demonstration teacher
With the online Master of Education in Teacher Leadership at the University of Delaware, students can enter the program knowing distinguished faculty are ready to offer research-based curriculum. In fact, the university holds a Carnegie classification for its high level of research activity, a rank fewer than three percent of institutions have. Through highly interactive virtual learning media, teachers can obtain and sharpen the skills needed to become a teacher leader under the guidance of an enthusiastic and knowledgeable faculty.
Learn more about the program here, and contact the admissions office at (844) 237-1338 for more information.