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The Many Faces of Leadership

In: Social Issues

Submitted By kimmy18
Words 2478
Pages 10
Teachers can find a wealth of opportunities to extend their influence beyond their own classrooms to their teaching teams, schools, and districts.
In every good school, there are teachers whose vision extends beyond their own classrooms—even beyond their own teams or departments. Such teachers recognize that students' school experiences depend not only on interaction with individual teachers, but also on the complex systems in place throughout the school and district. This awareness prompts these teachers to want to influence change. They experience professional restlessness—what some have called the “leadership itch.” Sometimes on their own initiative and sometimes within a more formal structure, these professionals find a variety of ways to exercise teacher leadership.
Why Teacher Leadership?
Today more than ever, a number of interconnected factors argue for the necessity of teacher leadership in schools.
Teaching is a flat profession. In most professions, as the practitioner gains experience, he or she has the opportunity to exercise greater responsibility and assume more significant challenges. This is not true of teaching. The 20-year veteran's responsibilities are essentially the same as those of the newly licensed novice. In many settings, the only way for a teacher to extend his or her influence is to become an administrator. Many teachers recognize that this is not the right avenue for them. The job of an administrator entails work that does not interest them, but they still have the urge to exercise wider influence in their schools and in the profession. This desire for greater responsibility, if left unfulfilled, can lead to frustration and even cynicism.
Teachers' tenure in schools is longer than that of administrators. In many settings, administrators remain in their positions for only three to four years, whereas teachers stay far longer. Teachers...

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