His post is framed around a speech he'll be giving soon to a group of teachers who recently earned National Board certification. To help them chart their professional paths, Bill offers his own definition of what it means to be a teacher leader, a definition developed over "the better part of the past 12 years stumbling through the professional dark." The short version first:
Teacher leaders are practicing educators who are committed to driving
And the expanded version (emphases mine):
For me, teacher leadership started by simply engaging my colleagues
in meaningful conversations about teaching and learning. I figured that it was impossible to drive change unless we had some real transparency around what it was that we were doing with students.
Teacher leadership probably also means supporting new colleagues, don't you
think? No matter how good university education programs are, nothing can really prepare you for this gig! Driving change means lending a hand to the teachers on
our hallway who need us the most.
And I reckon that driving change requires a deep and meaningful understanding of current practices, too. Teacher
leaders, then, are constantly researching and reading about effective
instruction. They've got an almost unsettling fear of stagnation!
Driving change also requires a willingness to raise your
voice a bit. Teacher leaders are always willing to speak up
in faculty and team meetings to lend guidance or expertise.
They're presenting at conferences and finding new ways to use
digital tools like blogs and wikis to share ideas and resources with the world.
But most importantly, driving change means having a steadfast
belief that reform rests in our hands. Teacher leaders don't stand around patiently waiting for others to take action. Instead, they're always acting.
You can take those points to the bank. Better yet, take them back to your school.