TheTeacher Leadership Exploratory Consortium has launched a new website to build a peer-to-peer network around the Teacher Leader Model Standards.

The website is designed to be both a forum and a resource for teachers to share best practices and stimulate ongoing dialogue about what constitutes the knowledge, skills and competencies that teachers need to assume teacher leadership roles in their schools, districts and the profession.

The standards are organized into seven domains:

Domain I: Fostering a Collaborative Culture to Support Educator Development and Student Learning
Domain II: Accessing and Using Research to Improve Practice and Student Learning
Domain III: Promoting Professional Learning for Continuous Improvement
Domain IV: Facilitating Improvements in Instruction and Student Learning
Domain V: Promoting the Use of Assessments and Data for School and District Improvement
Domain VI: Improving Outreach and Collaboration with Families and Community
Domain VII: Advocating for Student Learning and the Profession

This website is very timely as many states are beginning to look at creating a certification for teacher leaders. In California, the current credentialing system includes both teaching and administrative credentials, but does not provide an opportunity for teacher leaders to obtain special certification for teacher leadership. The California Commission on Teacher Credentialing has created an advisory panel to explore the idea of creating a special credential for teacher leaders.

Research shows that many teachers leave the profession due to low salary, lack of support from school administrators, student discipline problems, and lack of teacher input into decision making. Many teachers are looking for opportunities for teamwork and support as well as professional leadership opportunities other than administrative roles.

Ali Kliegman, Policy Associate, Center for Teaching Quality said, “Teacher leadership is not a new concept. Until we begin to cultivate, support and spread the knowledge and expertise of those who have mastered this craft, we will continue to miss the mark on achieving great gains with students.”