Saturday, July 14, 2012

Teacher Leadership by Charlotte Danielson

Three classes, 50 pages in papers, and I am soooooo glad I ended the whole caboodle with this book. I created a few lessons that I am going to use at the start of the year and was able to reflect on best practices. I also can see why I love our school. We are doing so many things well that it is no surprise I can think of many teacher leaders throughout the grade levels.

Teacher leaders are individuals who see a need or gap in student learning and address it in a way that influences others beyond the classroom. Not only are teacher leaders able to manage the process of change to improve student learning, they are able to inspire and motivate colleagues and others in pursuit of the goal they are trying to reach.

I really liked how Danielson phrased concepts and theories. It got me thinking about how I can change my way of interacting with students, colleagues, and parents. What are the qualities of a teacher leader? Am I a risk-taker? Do we have a culture of risk-taking at our school? Do I collaborate? Am I respectful? Clear? Creative? Flexible? What creates a culture of professional inquiry versus one that is autonomous? How does a culture of collaboration enhance and improve student learning? How can teachers take the negative aspects of punitive behaviors and turn them into moments of “opportunities for learning?” How can teachers partner with the parents and community? Good questions. Good stuff.

I am a specialist and I had to think a little differently for some of the sections but many books focus on the classroom only and I'm used to adjusting theories to fit my situation. There are some good student and teacher surveys in the appendix that can be used for individual classrooms and you can apply changes within the classroom.

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