A few days ago I read Ariel Sack’s excellent article in Education Week Teacher, “Beyond Tokenism: Toward the Next Stage of Teacher Leadership.”
I think her insights are worthwhile to consider in our current environment where you are required to make the case for the arts as English-language arts and math take the lion’s share of time and funding … and STEM is emphasized at every turn.
Teaching students is the single most important thing that happens in education everyday. That is where teachers make their biggest impact. So a leadership opportunity must provide a compelling reason to step away from the classroom—even for a day—or give up our valuable personal time. It must help teachers use their knowledge to empower their colleagues and school communities rather than present yet one more obstacle for effective teaching and learning.
Sadly, in part because of the top-down decision making structures that still pervade education, some of the teacher-leadership roles I’ve seen and participated in do not meet those criteria. Though well-intentioned, they end up misusing teachers’ time and abilities, rather than giving them meaningful ways to contribute their expertise. To help educators evaluate new opportunities and roles, I’ve compiled some of the lessons and requirements my experiences and observations have taught me.
To read the whole article: http://www.edweek.org/tm/articles/2012/10/17/tl_sacks.html?intc=mvs