The Consortium decided to tackle this issue by inviting teacher center directors, administrators, union representatives, and higher education representatives to a meeting to discuss this issue, confirm our premise, and brainstorm ideas about how we could provide the support for teacher leaders. The meeting confirmed that there is a real need for professional development for teacher leaders. A series of focused initiatives have unfolded since that time that concentrate on supporting teacher leadership. What follows provides a summary highlight of various initiatives:
- Development and dissemination of a preliminary needs assessment that was directed to a sample of teacher leaders and superintendents in the tri-county region (Putnam/Rockland/Westchester).
- Creation of the Teacher Leaders Conference in spring 2006 that drew 200 participants. Charlotte Danielson provided the keynote and professional development workshops responded to the articulated professional development needs of teacher leaders identified in the survey.
- Development of the Teacher Leaders program, an advanced certificate program that is co-sponsored by Manhattanville College and The Lower Hudson Teachers Centers. The first cohort started in January 2007.
- Development and dissemination of a regional survey identified teacher leaders and administrators during 2006-2007. The two surveys addressed the following primary questions: 1) the varied roles and responsibilities of teacher leaders; 2) the means of support at the district and school level; and 3) the knowledge and skills required to support teacher leaders in effectively fulfilling their responsibilities. Based on the responses, which included 149 teacher leader respondents and 58 school administrators from public and non-public schools, we assembled a regional snapshot of teacher leadership practices. Refer to link for the executive summary of the findings.
- Convening a Select Leadership Forum on January 28, 2008 that was represented by a diverse group of leadership stakeholders in education. The purpose of that forum was to report the regional survey findings and to engage the participants in dialogue about how various organizations can support distributed leadership, where teacher leaders are given more authentic leadership roles, decision making responsibilities, and related support.
Read more about our Teacher Leadership program in the news. Use this link to view additional news coverage of our program.
The work of the Teacher Leadership Consortium truly epitomizes a well known quote from Margaret Meade who said, "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." Well, the committee really hasn't changed the world, but it is trying to create an awareness of the importance of teacher leadership in the public education arena.
This site provides preliminary information about our Consortium's work to date related to teacher leadership. We invite others to work with us and share resources.