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 #1: Identifying the Sleeping Giants of Teacher Leadership
Tool #1 provides a stimulus for discussion around the existing school structures and social architectures that may support or hinder the development of teacher leadership

There are many ways in which Tool #1 may be used. Here are two suggestions:
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.

The intention of Tool #1 is to facilitate genuine dialogue and systematic analysis on teacher leadership in schools.

Reflect on the following questions
Think of a school you know and discuss on what are the formal structures and functions on the basis of which teacher activities are performed and what may be the social architecture around which change and resistance to change is dynamically constructed.

What official functions exist at our school? Who has these functions?

Which of these functions is connected to special qualifications?

Which functions are provided with compensation and in what form (lesson-free work time, additional payments, etc.)?

Which of these functions are filled by professionals acting as teacher leaders?

Are there others at our school who act as teacher leaders (i.e. as excellent teachers, professionals, role models and ambassadors)? Who are they? What do they do?

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© 2014 EPNoSL Project