Time is surely a major barrier in creating leadership roles for teachers, but what are some other barriers you see?

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7 Comments
  1. Emily Vickery

    Thank you for the strong and relevant points made in previous posts. In my professional life and also spearheading work with teacher leaders, administrators are often at a loss of what to do with teacher leaders for they are threatened by new and emerging roles and more comfortable with hierarchical structures. The notion of “giving” teachers permission underlines so much of thwarting what teaching professionals know is best for their students and identifying our own needs regarding professional learning. Are industrial-style schools and slow-moving bureaucracies ready for truthful conversations in growing professionalism (for both teachers and administrators)? Will micro-credentials (MC) pass the “permission” level of school and districts? (MC pilot programs are underway; let’s keep an eye on their progress.) Wouldn’t it be worthwhile to incubate ideas and nurture talent in flattened structures? Aren’t there implications not only for teachers but students as well?

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  2. Ernie Rambo

    From my observations, many — but not all – teachers were well behaved students when they were in school. While being well-behaved helps the classroom activities be successful, sometimes teachers are a bit timid, or feel threatened to suggest how education could be different/more effective. While empowerment is a word that has been used often, the lack of empowerment, combined with years of seeing nothing ever really change, is a barrier to teachers creating leadership roles. How can we help teachers understand that they are capable of being effective and powerful leaders in education?

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  3. KRISCIA CABRAL

    I agree with Joanna. Time is an issue however the opportunity to open up available time for teachers to lead. In many instances, becoming a leader means one more thing added to an overflowing plate of responsibility. The time that is needed to plan and more importantly collaborate with colleagues is not available and they are a crucial part to leading the way in empowering teacher leaders.

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  4. Joanna Schimizzi

    I agree that time and money are big barriers to allowing teachers to do more. But I also think that a big barrier is creativity and vision. If administrators and district personnel have never seen how teachers can be “teacherpreneuers” and engage in new and innovative roles, it can be hard for them to imagine how to allow a teacher release time. But the most important part is talking to the employee. I could envision that perhaps the teacher in Christopher’s scenario might be willing to teach 4 classes with 6 more students in each class if they had an extra release period to be a leader in a way that is meaningful to them.

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  5. Dr. Katherine Everett

    Both very valid points. There also seems to be a bit of the unknown when it comes to looking for an opportunity to lead. This is where current leadership needs to step up. Knowing teacher strengths and where to pair them can generate momentum and be very empowering to the teacher. This creates further interest and willingness to be placed in leadership roles. Mountains can be moved with just one pebble.

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  6. Angela Schoon

    Breaking down the “walls” and encouraging teachers to reach out to one another.

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  7. Christopher Bronke

    Money. It isn’t cheap to diminish a teacher’s work load so that he/she can lead in ways that are needed. As a high school teacher, the teachers in the department I lead teach 5 classes (per the contract); I would love to have my grade-level leaders take a more active role in leading and as a result, only teach four classes, but it is a financial issue.

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