I notice a commonality as we read about the teacher leader experiences in the materials for week 9. Effective teacher leaders make good use of the resources and support that are available when they embark on a quest for reform. In addition, rather than steam rolling over opposition or turning around and calling it quits when faced with difficult circumstances or people, teacher leaders recognize the advantages, agreements, and common goals that ARE in place at a particular point in time and then work to build upon them.
In M. Colley’s “Preparing for the Future? Reliving the Past?” (2007), the teacher leader had to step back and focus on the one goal that both groups, the HiCap and AP teachers, had in common which was alignment, not rigor. This proved to be a turning point in the productivity of their meetings. Moore and Morgaen (2011) reference a teacher leader who chose to collaborate with teachers who sought her out, rather than deal with criticisms from teachers who were suspicious of her inexperience. These practices served to build strong groups in the beginning, while shelving the more sticky issues for a time later in the process when all parties were better aligned in their goals. In both of these situations, the reader was left hopeful that these leaders eventually had even the naysayers on board. I am reminded that when facing a daunting challenge it is best to break it down into smaller parts and align these parts with the common goals of the team. This will strengthen and build rapport amongst the team members and better equip them to deal with the tougher issues down the road.
Moore, S. & Morgaen, L. (2011). Overcoming the obstacles to leadership. In E. Hilty, Teacher leadership: The “new” foundations of teacher education (pp. 211 – 217). New York, New York: Peter Lang Publishing, Inc.
Colley, M. (2007) Preparing for the future? Reliving the past? Cases 2007 District-Level Reform, Retrieved from https://learn.spu.edu/bbcswebdav/pid-758919-dt-content-rid-671295_1/courses/EDU6600_45677201123/CSTP-teacher.leadership.cases.pdf