Classes are not taught in silos, but rather teachers collaborate on interdisciplinary approaches so students can see connections between things they learn. A teacher leader has a passion for both teaching students and mentoring or assisting fellow teachers. © copyright 2003-2020 If all of these commitments sound like a lot, they are. Good communication skills and decision-making capabilities also play a vital role in success and failure of a leader. The most important qualities of a good leader include integrity, accountability, empathy, humility, resilience, vision, influence, and positivity. Innovative leaders can survive the ups and downs of living in our modern society. See also: The Whole Package: 12 Factors of High-Impact Teacher-Leader Roles In many schools, teachers assume leadership roles. To teach, you need your students to feel comfortable asking you questions. If teachers don't have the commitment, it is very hard to give your students your best every day. . Educators who are adept in instructional leadership also prioritize sharing effective teaching practices with others, leveraging technology when appropriate. Discipline issues are nearly nonexistent, with a .2 percent suspension rate last year. “A lot of teachers and principals are exhausted because so much is mandated from afar,” Berry said. No matter how good professional learning is, it’s got to be really good when it comes to helping teachers make transformational changes to their practice, because before that they were students in a system that taught them very differently.”. What Makes a Good Teacher: 10 Qualities of a Good Teacher Being a good teacher is extremely important, and a good teacher is someone who a student will remember and cherish for the rest of their lives. Several times in my teaching career, I’ve asked graduate students to give me descriptions of the worst teachers they’ve had. While the hybrid roles that teachers play at teacher-powered schools may seem like a lot of work, they give teachers the power to decide what programs, textbooks, software, etc., should or should not be used in order to make space for the community’s vision. Defining Teacher-Leader Roles—click to download a PDF of this page. 4. Berry cites research showing that even in some of the most successful schools using these strategies, a deficit of inspirational models makes the work feel daunting. As John F. Kennedy said, “leadership and learning are indispensable … The ways teachers can lead are as varied as teachers themselves. Commitment is another quality great leaders demonstrate. Now there are times when we don't want to be approachable at all, more so with parents than with students. To promote teacher leadership, Berry writes that seven qualities must be in place. Howard University professor Oliver McGee believes early childhood education is about leadership. A great teacher is like a great leader, staying strong in the face of adversity, focusing on the positive, and never letting students lose hope. The reality is that great leaders and teachers should be approachable. Behavioral theories suggest that leadership skills aren’t ingrained and can be taught – people can obtain leadership qualities through teaching and learning these skills over time. And by having that agency and ability to be flexible and change the plan to meet different learners, teachers are also showing students what it means to lead. A vision and strategy for teacher leadership, “with stated goals and clear images of tasks to be done, must be in place,” Berry writes. They need to be able to keep their cool in order to be good role models for their students. Teachers who do take on leadership roles within a school or district, formal or informal, break the “… stereotypical isolation familiar to most teachers…” The trait is strongly interconnected with teamwork. Research shows that good teachers are the single most important factor that contributes to student achievement in the classroom, more important than facilities, school resources and even school leadership. Let's say you have to teach a topic that bores you to no end - say the cell theory in a science class. Sometimes it is just a matter of how you approach the topic. Only school and district leaders (e.g. There’s a growing consensus among students, parents, teachers and education leaders that the current education system isn’t appropriately preparing young people for the future. principals, Director-level district staff) shall nominate teachers. Teacher leaders who share their specialized knowledge, expertise, and experience with other teachers broaden and sustain school and classroom improvement efforts. Services, empathetic toward your students and parents, energize those around them with their passion, Working Scholars® Bringing Tuition-Free College to the Community. However, innovative leaders embrace this challenge. The iconic image of this is the generals leading their men into devastating battles, but teachers need this quality as well. are trustworthy. Lastly, innovation and creative thinking, as well as the futuristic vision, are a couple of leadership qualities that make up good leaders. In middle school it was always like, ‘You’re the student, I’m the teacher. You’ll also receive a carefully curated list of content from teacher-trusted sources. They need to be able to keep on top of these tasks and complete their duties in a timely manner. Teachers must feel part of creating this vision in order to buy in. We would like to hide from our phones and email, go into a cave, and just teach. Now, great leaders in your community may not be jazzed about every idea they have to share with those around them, but they channel their passion and sell the idea anyway. Teachers may have to find a way to frame the content within an activity you enjoy. Working in ECE is About Leadership. These individuals typically apply for their positions and are chosen through a selection process. “We’re still climbing a very big hill and we’re pushing a boulder up this very big hill,” Berry said. That is where your commitment, passion, empathy, honesty and integrity come into play. Approach it this way. Innovative leaders don't just rely on their ideas, the use the creativity and resourcefulness of those around them to solve problems and implement solutions. . Perhaps the most important of all qualities that a school leader can possess is the unquenchable thirst for knowledge. Subscribe to receive weekly updates of MindShift stories every Sunday. Qualities and Skills of Teacher Leaders Teacher leaders serve in two fundamental types of roles: formal and informal. After all, it takes leadership skills to organize lesson plans, inspire students, keep them on-task and maintain an environment of order and respect. Whether these roles are assigned formally or shared informally, they build the entire school's capacity to improve. With very few resources, but a dedicated staff of teacher-leaders, Social Justice Humanitas Academy (SJHA), shows that deep, rigorous learning can take place in all communities and with all kinds of learners. are open to the views and ideas of all, non-judgmentally. Below we will discuss the top 10 qualities of a good teacher … Even when the parent or child may be in the wrong, leaders use empathy to help communicate more effectively. Given the need for change felt by many involved in education, there may be a unique opening right now to invest in teacher leadership as a way forward. There is a lot of great research on what works in educational practice. Teacher leaders blaze new pathways—not along a linear trajectory, but through an intricately braided landscape consisting of three leadership arenas. Founder and CEO of the Center for Teaching Quality, Barnett Berry, recently published a report summarizing 30 years of research on best practices to empower teachers to lead and improve practice. Leadership skills are one of the most important characteristics which the teacher should represent. Teachers work in a challenging situation. For example, if you hate cell theory but love music, have your students conduct research and write parodies of their favorite songs. Many districts are looking toward technology to patch the disconnect, but several recent reports indicate that technology alone cannot fix the ailing system. Teacher Leadership Qualities That Make a Difference Individuals in different educational leadership roles can make a difference by exhibiting a variety of leadership qualities. Teachers are leaders and should spread their passion around their classrooms as well to engage their students.