7 Standards for Teacher Leaders
The U.S. Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan has been quoted on the importance of high teachers’ standards and declared that “nothing makes a bigger difference in a child’s education than having a great teacher.” He continued to state that “the recently released Teacher Leader Model Standards are a critical step towards better preparing and supporting teachers in assuming leadership roles that promote student learning,”
Teacher leader model standards
Anyone who pursues an educational leader’s degree should be trained in the Teacher Leader Model Standards. The Teacher Leader Model Standards have been designed to organize, promote, and support teacher leadership in ways that will transform schools to meet the needs of students in the 21st century. These standards have been divided into seven domains.
Domain #1: Fostering a collaborative culture to support educator development and student learning
An individual who has earned a Master of Education in Educational Leadership and who wants to focus on the first domain should promote a school culture of collaboration and cooperation. Teacher leaders should use group processes to help other teachers work together, tackle problems efficiently, and manage issues equitably. As a leader, these teachers should model great listening and presentation skills. They should also facilitate trust among their colleagues in ways that will support student learning. The main purpose of the first domain of these teachers’ standards is to create an environment of collaboration that exceeds differences in backgrounds, race, or language.
Domain #2: Accessing and utilizing research to improve student learning
As part of this domain, teachers should remain aware of the latest research on teacher efficacy and student learning models. The teacher who is committed to this domain will help his or her colleagues find and utilize methods that improve learning. They will also help to work with universities and other institutions of higher learning in ways that foster student and teacher development. In addition, these leaders will collect experiences from their own classroom, and they will analyze this data in ways that help them to work toward improvement.
Domain #3: Promotion of professional learning for continuous improvement
Teachers who have been trained in the teachers’ standards of domain three should realize that the processes of teaching and learning are constantly evolving. New research is always appearing that seeks to improve both of these roles. Someone with an advanced degree who has focused on domain three can facilitate professional learning opportunities with their colleagues. They can identify and integrate technologies and new methodologies in ways that foster learning, and they can advocate for their colleagues to have more time to devote to professional training.
Domain #4: Facilitation of improvements in instruction and student learning
Teachers who have been adequately trained in this domain are always on the lookout for ways to advance current systems. They look for ways of improving everything from their curriculum to their school culture. In order to facilitate improvement, these teacher leaders should communicate with colleagues about their students’ work, and they should collect data that assesses how current practices are impacting both students and teachers.
Domain #5: Promoting the use of assessments and data for school and district improvement
As part of this domain, teacher leaders should understand how to collect data and use it to create goals that will ultimately improve the school as well as the school district. Under the ideals of this domain, leaders should help their colleagues understand how to identify and utilize tools that have been created to help schools align with their local, state, and national standards. Teacher leaders should also work on how to create a culture of trust so that they can have conversations about student learning and how to improve it.
Domain #6: Improving outreach to families and communities
Teachers who have been trained under domain six understand the critical role that families and communities play in student learning. These leaders should understand the local culture and languages that are part of their community, and they should be able to model great communication and collaboration skills with families and others who are interested in promoting the achievement of teachers and students.
Domain #7: Advocating for student learning and the profession
These teacher leaders should know how to identify community leaders and education advocates at the state and local level. They should work with these leaders in ways that promote the profession of teaching and the role of students as learners. Primarily, these leaders will advocate for teachers in contexts beyond the brick and mortar classroom.