Teacher Leadership, Just another buzz word?

Teacher Leadership is a phrase that has only come to my attention within the last year or so. However, it doesn’t appear to be a new concept or ‘bandwagon’ to jump on. In a time where teacher wellbeing is needing more and more attention, Teacher Leadership is allowing practitioners to think about the most important things, Learning and Teaching. During my Teacher Leadership induction day, a fellow participant described Teacher Leadership as ‘a personal development experience suited to your specific time, place and environment’. Finding the time to critically reflect on practice, discuss, and look for how to develop further with the help of supportive friends is what we all wish for and Teacher Leadership allows this to happen. Buzz words and new concepts are thrown around a lot in staff rooms, CAT sessions and classrooms all over Scotland and often people are hesitant when new programmes or initiatives are introduced. Teacher Leadership is not a buzz word, it isn’t new, it is a crucial opportunity for teachers and learners to develop in a supportive, friendly environment. I can’t wait to get started on the Teacher Leadership Programme 2018-19 but I’m hoping the skills I learn won’t just last for this year and that I can continue this method of practice into my future years of teaching. If Teacher Leadership is a bandwagon then I’m jumping on and staying on for a long time!

4 Responses to “Teacher Leadership, Just another buzz word?”

  • I enjoyed your post and I agree that we do need to be careful of more buzz words, or another thing that we should be doing. Should teachers be spending most of their time building expertise and confidence around teaching and learning? I certainly think most of us would say so. And teachers should make their voices heard and help shape what teacher leadership means. Have you your own ideas about where bandwagons come from or why they exist?

    • Hi Emma,
      I haven’t thought before about how bandwagons come about. Perhaps there is something that we can do as teachers to avoid new initiatives becoming bandwagons by thinking carefully about how to implement or if it is necessary to implement before getting started.

      • Hi Emma and Faye,

        I enjoyed reading your discussion about buzz words and bandwagons. As a teacher who is eager to learn and take on new initiatives, it can be overwhelming trying to sift through the different buzz words and exciting initiatives to find what works for you and the children in front of you. Is it part of teacher professionalism and autonomy deciding which initiatives or buzz words work for you or is this something that is decided by management? Maybe for a school to be most effective they should collaborate together as community to make decisions about which buzz words/initiatives are most effective to ensure quality learning and teaching for the pupils in their school. How easy is it to achieve this in reality?

        • It can be overwhelming, Kirsty, and it would be detrimental to teaching if the lasting impression of trying something new was exhaustion and confusion! That’s a good question about is this a case for teacher professionalism. I do feel education is strongly influenced by policymakers and we are not yet clear about the role of research and evidence in our decisions about practice.

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