Developing and Building the Capacity of Teacher Leaders
Schools that show significant success in improving student achievement outcomes are schools where principals recognize the power of teacher leadership. Utilizing the collective wisdom of experienced teachers, nurturing the potential of newer teachers, and continuously supporting the job-embedded professional development of both affect the performance of teachers, and by extension, their students. The following jigsaw reading activity provides school leaders with research and strategies that can help them plan ways to best use and nurture the power of teacher leadership.
- “Collective Wisdom,” Principal Leadership, October 2008, pp. 30–33.
- “Transforming Teacher Leadership: A Conversation with Douglas Reeves,” Principal Leadership, October 2008, pp. 20–24.
- Pre-Meeting: Prior to a large group discussion, distribute copies of both articles to all participants. Ask half of the group to read and highlight important points of one article and the other half to read and highlight the second article.
- Large Group Discussion:
- Form temporary “expert groups” by breaking the large group into smaller groups of 8–12 people who have read the same article. Ask participants to discuss the main points of their article and to agree upon the main points they will share during step two of the process.
- Ask participants to move into different groups of 8–12 people, ensuring that there is an approximately equal mix of people in the groups who have read the same article. This grouping should have “expert” summaries from members who have read both articles. Depending on the size of the large group, numbering off to re-group may be an appropriate way to do this.
- Ask members of each “expert group” to share with each other the main points and insights gained from reading their article. After information from both articles has been shared, discuss the insights, implications, questions, and/or concerns that were raised.
- As a group, determine which actions and strategies from both articles could be effective at your school.
- List on chart paper the action steps that the school could take to develop and build the capacity of teacher leaders. Use this information to complete the discussion guide planning tools.
Information gained from the template can be used to clarify and determine future improvement efforts for the school. Participants should be familiar with the Process Circle Implementation Steps.