Teacher Leadership Toolset
for equity and learning

The toolset has been designed to support the development of teacher leadership in school cultures with a flat hierarchy which are undergoing transformation, oriented to equity and learning as the theory of action driving their work with all students. Such deep cultural change requires schools to become learning organizations, in which all professionals see themselves as learners and in which highly effective professionals are recognized and leveraged for improving school quality.

Within every school there is a sleeping giant of teacher leadership that can be a strong catalyst for making changes to improve student learning.
Marilyn Katzenmeyer & Gayle Moller (2009). Awakening the Sleeping Giant: Helping Teachers Develop as Leaders.


Tool #2: The 3 Energies
The 3 Energies is a potential analysis, i.e. a systematic, open and future-oriented investigation of available human resources, with the goal of discovering hidden potential in an organization. The goal is to discover unused potential in one’s school and discover strategies for how this potential can be activated by focussing on three energies that are key to success in schools: Professionalism, Vision, and Relationships.

There are many ways in which Tool #2 may be used. Here are two suggestions:

The 3 energies

What do we mean by teacher leadership?

Teacher leaders are highly effective teachers who accept responsibility beyond classroom instruction for a task or function which contributes to quality development at their school. These teachers act as leading professionals, drawing upon external and experiential knowledge to continually improve their practice with a focus on equity and learning. They are sources of inspiration for their colleagues and ambassadors for their schools.

By taking on a teacher leadership role, teachers “break ranks” and become visible to colleagues as leaders. Where teacher leadership is new, “breaking ranks” in the flat hierarchy typically found in school cultures commonly results in irritation, on a spectrum from speaking up and attracting attention to designed intervention and resistance.

School leaders (principals and teacher leaders) consciously suspend past experiences, constructs, personal perceptions and pre-judgements to work systematically in an inquiry mode. The principle underlying the inquiry is: Each of us is important and has an important contribution to make in our school.

Step 1: Identify the visible

Step 1: Identify the visible

Make a drawing or list of staff members at your school.
  • Who has what function(s) in our school?
  • Who has what roles?
  • Who has particular qualifications or expertise?
  • Step 2: Identify the invisible. Photo by helice93, see http://helice93.deviantart.com/art/Mountains-and-Water-394672357

    Step 2: Identify the invisible

  • Who is missing?
  • What are their interests?
  • How do they contribute to our school?
  • What makes their eyes sparkle?
  • Step 3: Group the staff members. Photo by  K.W. Barrett, see https://www.flickr.com/photos/barrettelementary/3858901239/

    Step 3: Group the staff members

    Group the staff members into the three energies: Professionalism, Vision and Relationships.
  • Who is (potentially) the source of each energy?
  • To what degree are the three energies in balance?
  • Step 4: Synthesise and think forward

    Step 4: Synthesise and think forward

  • What have we discovered about our staff?
  • How can we integrate those whose potential is not yet available to our school?
  • What needs to be done to balance the three energies?
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    © 2014 EPNoSL Project