Teacher Leadership and Change
Our school board is currently in a process of revamping the models of teacher leadership in secondary schools. They’ve changed the concept slightly from one of Department Head to that of Lead Teacher. The Lead Teacher will have specific responsibilities for various curricular areas. If it’s a large school, with a large department, then one Lead will have only that area, but in smaller schools, or for smaller departments, there will be consolidations. The idea seems to be to have the Lead Teachers focus not only on the managerial responsiblities, but also on the large school goals that are framed in the School Improvement Plan. I think that there will be opportunities to provide input and drive the school plans.
The driving force seems to have been a joint group lead by OSSTF and the school board. In recent times, the role of school leader has altered in many places, and this is an effort to revitalize the positions to have leaders in place who are wanting to drive changes at the school level.
I heard it said somewhere (and have often used the line myself) that there are 2 things that teachers hate. Change and the way things are. For those of us striving to move our classroom practice towards more student-centred and skills based approaches this is an interesting opportunity. Will the mandate be to simply implement the changes that are directed from the Ministry of Ed and the school board administration, or will there be opportunities to drive the agenda at the school level towards goals that we find valuable? Time will tell I suppose, but if there is one thing I have learned, it is that if you are interested in making change in education happen, it pays to be at the table where they are discussing what changes should be made.
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