Taking on a teacher leadership role can be an exciting yet challenging endeavor. How can you make sure you’re most effective in your role? No worries, we’ve got you covered. Here are 10 Tips for Effective Teacher Leadership to help you feel prepared to tackle your new role.
Tip #1: Be a mentor:
- Seek out inexperienced members of your community and offer to support them.
- Touch base with new teachers early and often. Offer to observe a class or teach a lesson in their classroom.
- Apply your experience & wisdom to new situations.
Tip #2: Be a life-long learner:
- Network! Use social media to connect with other teacher leaders to share best practices and have people to talk to outside of your school district.
- Be aware of the latest research, trends, etc.
Tip #3: Be a positive influence on your colleagues:
- Be both accessible and inviting to other members of their community.
- Create a positive atmosphere in their community
- Be approachable.
- Actively build positive relationships.
- Be an empathetic listener with an open mind.
Tip #4: Be organized:
- Actively “do the work” required to see projects through to completion.
- Always have an agenda when you are leading a meeting, try to stick to the agenda, and share the agenda with your team before the meeting so they have time to review it. If the meeting gets off track, remind others of the agenda and table items that don’t fit into the agenda. Always follow up on items, either with the whole group or with an individual.
Tip #5: Be confident and proactive:
- Speak up during meetings, offering your advice, opinions, and experience.
- Suggest new initiatives to meet the needs of existing challenges
- Model desired behaviors.
Tip #6: Be reflective and seek to understand:
- Own your mistakes and apologize.
- Assume best intentions.
- Don’t take things personally–keep in mind that you are often the messenger of news that you may or may not agree with.
Tip #7: Be trustworthy:
- Don’t gossip about your teammates with other teammates after a meeting.
- Let your colleagues know that they can come to you with concerns
Tip #8: Be mindful of your workload:
- Just because you are a teacher leader in your building, does not mean you sacrifice work life balance, teacher leaders don’t have to give up other things in order to lead in their school.
- Provide opportunities for others to assume leadership roles (delegate) and encourage others to take on leadership opportunities.
Tip #9: Be an advocate for social justice:
- Encourage your team to have conversations around DEIJ topics.
- Look for opportunities to call people in rather than call people out when discussing equity issues.
- Promote school-wide policies and practices that are inclusive and culturally responsive.
Tip #10: Listen carefully:
- Pay attention to your team members – hear what’s on their mind, what’s worrying them, what’s causing conflict, etc.
- Once you have a sense of what the problems are, actively look for solutions.
- Oftentimes, people just want to be heard, and you are in a unique position to listen to your team members without evaluation or judgment.
Want to know more about teacher-leadership? Check out this padlet of resources curated by the Teacher Leader Committee!