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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 1: Learn About Various Approaches/Models to Teacher Leadership

Guideline: There are various approaches to or models of teacher leadership, known as "teacher leader," "master teacher," "peer mentor," or "academic coach." However, they do not represent all the leadership roles for teachers. The first step towards understanding teacher leadership is to be aware of these models. This task provides resources to do so.



Teacher Leadership: Self-Assessment and Readiness Tools

Teachers, are you exploring teacher leadership opportunities? State, district and school leaders: are you considering how to use teacher leadership initiatives to promote local improvement, or as part of your ESSA plan? Our new suite of teacher leadership self-assessment and readiness tools can help. Developed in collaboration and consultation with the Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Midwest Educator Effectiveness Research Alliance, REL Midwest, and the Center on Great Teachers and Leaders, the tools are based on a review of the teacher leadership literature and stakeholder input. Download a Microsoft Word version of the tool.

Webinar: Teacher Leadership Toolkit 2.0

The Teacher Leadership webinar will highlight a new toolkit from the Great Teachers and Leaders (GTL) Center and Leading Educators – the Teacher Leadership Toolkit 2.0 ( – to help states and districts make decisions about creating new or strengthening existing teacher leadership approaches. This webinar features current teacher leaders sharing about their roles and their success stories.


National Board for Professional Teaching Standards

This link is to the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) website. As noted at its website, NBPTS "was formed in 1987 to advance the quality of teaching and learning by developing professional standards for accomplished teaching, creating a voluntary system to certify teachers who meet those standards and integrating certified teachers into educational reform efforts." While the NBPTS standards focus on content mastery, they do not reflect on a formally designated teacher leader role.


Instructional Coaches

The September 2007 Issue Brief, from the former Center for Comprehensive School Reform, titled "Instructional Coaches" reviews instructional coaching and elements to look for when selecting, preparing, and evaluating coaches.

Instructional Coaching Kansas Coaching Project

This link to the Instructional Coaching Kansas Coaching Project website, maintained by the University of Kansas Center for Research on Learning, provides resources and support for instructional coaching.

Leadership for Student Learning: Redefining the Teacher as Leader

This 2001 report from the Institute for Educational Leadership explores the teacher as leader, identifying challenges impacting the role. The report laid the foundation for further study and thought on the teacher leader role.

Teacher Leadership as a Key to Education Innovation

This link is to the Center on Great Teachers and Leaders website offers an August 2010 Policy-to-Practice Brief exploring teacher leadership. The brief provides an overview of the teacher leader model and recommendations for state and district action.

Teacher Leadership: Leading the Way to Effective Teaching and Learning

This policy brief from the Teachers Network and the Center for Teaching Quality looks at teacher leadership as a way to enhance teaching effectiveness and the teaching profession.

What Makes a Master Teacher

This link is to an article suggesting a set of qualities a master teacher would possess. Though authored by a Canadian school principal, the qualities may have universal applicability.