How shared leadership leads to transformation in schools

Awesome results in student achievement occur when the significant challenges students face are met with an even greater level of teacher talent and dedication. When talented individuals work together, the results are extraordinary. An essential ingredient behind development in schools is transformational leadership.

While many districts are investing heavily in new leadership roles, some percentage of teachers have also taken on a “Teacher Leader” title. Research has shown that very few of the new leaders feel responsible for the performance and growth of the teachers they lead. Some schools have recognized the need to reduce the instructional leadership burden on principals. Most of them are now devoting significant resources to creating more leadership positions in their schools. This, however, is aimed at giving their teachers new opportunities outside the classroom as well as taking the load off principals.

The fundamental question is this: How can our current school systems create and incorporate distributed leadership models that provide leaders with the time and authority to help schools deliver on their primary objectives, which are better teaching and learning?

A productive distributed leadership model is a far comprehensive outline for how a school will assess and convey leadership to deliver on its core mission, thereby enhancing the nature of educating and learning. The most successful distributed leadership models are the ones that match leaders to teams of teachers who serve a common purpose.

The fundamental questions, however, remain;

  • What will the core leadership have as roles and what obligations will they have?
  • How will these leaders be sent to support groups of teachers?
  • By what means will planning, observation, feedback, and coaching work? Who will own assessments and who will have the chance to make inputs?


By including more APs and preparing them to be instructional leaders fit for tutoring and growing better instructors, the system has both reinforced the leadership capacity in its existing schools and made a rich ability pool to draw on when new schools are opened. An efficiently distributed leadership is one that creates opportunities for teachers to work together.
Leaders must be empowered with the time and authority to lead. Having more leaders in our schools with true end-to-end responsibility for the development of teachers is an essential part of addressing the current leadership gaps.

Based on: http://www.bain.com/publications/articles/transforming-schools.aspx

Avatar

Derek Turner