Teacher leadership takes on many forms and you do not have to leave the classroom to lead others. Building leadership skills while in the classroom provides leverage for when you do transition out. You will have numerous experiences to prepare you and will be well equipped for the transition.
10 ways to lead others as a classroom teacher are listed below ranging from light, hands-off support to intensive, hands-on support. Choose what fits the needs of your staff and school as well as what you can personally manage.
Light Teacher Leadership Options
- Build Community Partnerships– A great way to give back to the school is to build partnerships with community members. These members can be volunteers or donate items or finances for events. When a community supports a school, all stakeholders thrive.
- Gather Lesson Resources– Teachers need help planning and delivering lessons. Offer assistance by meeting with teachers to know what content topics they will be covering and research online or scouring curriculum resources for activities to support the lesson.
- Organize a Schoolwide Event– Meet with stakeholders to determine upcoming schoolwide events and to brainstorm new potential opportunities. Offer to lead a portion of the event or the entire event if possible. Review the budget to plan accordingly. Reach out to the community for donations or partnerships. Appoint colleagues to help.
Medium Teacher Leadership Options
- Deliver PD– Meet with your administrators to find out potential upcoming topics needed for professional development. Offer to plan and lead the learning session. Keep a record of all PD that you offer to teachers.
- Get ideas for what learning opportunities to offer teachers by browsing here
- Facilitate a Data Dig- Facilitate the data discussion during a professional learning community (PLC) meeting. Review data points prior to the meeting to plan questioning prompts and develop a conversation flow. Be sure to follow all PLC protocol.
- Grab these resources for a data dig
- Lead a Committee– Teachers come together in committees to help the school be successful. Examples include: PD, safety, recycling, health, celebration, etc. Choose a committee you are passionate about. Then, get permission to set a vision, actionable steps, and lead committee meetings.
- Set up Learning Walks– Learning walks allow others to see each other teach live in front of students. It is a great way to see teaching strategies in action and to gain new ideas to bring back to your own classroom. Share the opportunity with staff, offer a sign up sheet, and create a schedule.
Heavy Teacher Leadership Options
- Demo a Lesson or Co-teach– It can be helpful for teachers to see instructional strategies executed live in front of students. Demonstrate teaching strategies by modeling during a practice session or pop in during live instruction to co-teach with the teacher.
- Mentor a New Teacher– Helping new colleagues navigate the school building, district or school logistics, develop their teaching persona, plan and deliver effective instruction, etc. is extremely helpful. Whether it is a paid or volunteer mentorship opportunity, locate new colleagues and offer your help.
- Grab this mentorship resource and gift them a signed copy of Elementary EDUC 101- What They Didn’t Teach You in College
- Take on a Student Teacher– Similar to mentoring a new teacher, mentoring a future teacher is rewarding and sets them up for success on their path as an educator. Being a cooperating teacher requires a lot of time to partner together, plan lessons, talk through strategy and approach, etc. However, it is the strongest form of leadership while still being in the classroom.
- Grab this student teacher resource and cooperating teacher resource
- Also, gift them a signed copy of Elementary EDUC 101- What They Didn’t Teach You in College
No matter what option you choose, you can still lead others as a classroom teacher. Gain various leadership experiences so that when you are ready to transition full-time, you’ll be a strong candidate.