Articles, posts and tweets about recruiting and encouraging teacher leaders are often focused towards school administrators. How can school leaders find and guide teachers to be leaders in their divisions or grade levels. Lately, many of these posts and tweets are concentrating on developing technology leaders among the faculty. What about those teachers, who quietly lead their grade levels and schools. The ones who remain in the backdrop but are often the first to be sought for advice from their colleagues? What about you? Are you a hidden gem? How can you come out of hiding into the light?
As often happens when the school year starts, professional development comes directed by the administration or district. This is not wrong, these educators are looking at a bigger picture and striving to reach a determined objective. Creating faculty learning opportunities may stem from this plan. But, these learning possibilities may not coordinate with the needs that you are observing at your grade level or school. If given the chance to voice an opinion, do so. If asked to email your suggestion for professional development, do so. But what if you are not asked for your thoughts? Give them anyway.
I am not suggesting you barge into the Principal or District Leader’s offices. Rather, make an appointment. Send the email you have crafted in your head. Just like we tell students…Speak up, Be heard, Take a risk! Shine a light on the professional development that the teachers are asking for in the teachers’ lounge. Outline the technology needs, ask for the program refresher (or the one that was never given when the program was implemented), request the day to team plan from the administration. The support that will directly improve their teaching craft or the conversations about how to meet the needs of students in their classes. Be the hidden leader that speaks with clarity and strength of knowledge. Actually, come out of the background and speak with surety. Champion the professional development that would make the most difference in achieving the goal of meeting student needs.
Let’s take this a step further, are you the teacher that others seek to discuss students or to get your opinion about a lesson or the direction that they are taking a unit? Then you are the hidden leader. Maybe it is time for you to lead the team planning day. Maybe the diamond in the rough should stop waiting for someone to sculpt you into the leader they envision. Be the leader you know that your school needs right now!
Originally Posted on Thursday, 12 October 2017