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Teacher Leader KnowledgeBase

This KnowledgeBase archive includes content and external links that were accurate and relevant as of September 30, 2019.

The Teacher Leader KnowledgeBase aims to raise awareness of the teacher leader role at the district level and to support teachers aspiring to the teacher leader role through master's degree-level university programs.

Task 3: Contrast Teacher Leader and School Leadership Roles

Guideline: Teacher leader and school leadership roles are complimentary in nature. Teacher leadership is peer oriented, while school leadership is "chain-of-command" oriented. Leadership roles may take on either a formal or informal dimension. Formal leaders are those persons who are fulfilling designated organizational leadership roles with prescribed authority and responsibilities. Informal leaders are persons whose leadership capacities are recognized by others willing to follow them, but they may not have designated organizational leadership authority or responsibilities. As a district and its schools develop teacher leader roles, they need to be cognizant of these differences.



Teacher Leadership: District and School Leader Readiness Tool

District and school administrators, working on their own or with colleagues, can use this tool to gauge the extent to which their school systems have the necessary conditions in place to support teacher leadership. After completing the tool, users can generate a list of areas for improvement, resources needed, and next steps to better prepare to support and foster effective teacher leadership. The tool is organized into three domains: culture and context, roles and responsibilities, and systems and structures. Download a Microsoft Word version of the tool.

Practical Tips

Teacher Leader Book Resources

This document provides a list of teacher leader book resources used by the Kansas State Department of Education while developing the Kansas Teacher Leader program. Educators interested in the teacher leader role might find these books useful.


Successful School Leadership - A View from the Classroom

Published by the Teachers Network Leadership Institute, this publication examines leadership roles for the school principal and teacher leaders. Though focused on New York City Public Schools, the general content may be of interest to educators associated with other school systems.

Teacher Leaders: The Backbone of Sustained Improvement

This link is to the December 2005 newsletter issue of the former Center for Comprehensive School Reform and Improvement. This article reviews the role teacher leaders play in sustaining school improvement. PDF

What Does Leadership Capacity Really Mean?

This article from the Spring 2005 issue of the Journal of Staff Development published by the former National Staff Development Council (now known as Learning Forward) explores leadership at the school level. The author reviews terminology associated with leadership capacity, identifies three types of leadership capacity within schools, and explores six factors impacting leadership capacity. This article may be useful to districts and schools contemplating new teacher leader roles and how they would fit with a school's leadership capacity.