During week 2 we read about the distinctions between teacher leading and teacher teaming. As I first considered these two terms, I assumed that they were two distinct and defined roles teachers take on in their school communities. As we discussed this topic in class and read about it I have come to realize that these roles are fluid and the emphasis on leading or teaming ebbs and flows as teachers collaborate with each other. According to Conley & Muncey (as cited in Hilty, 2011) it is important to note that teachers tend to identify more often with one role over the other.
As I collaborate with my grade level team I notice that my particular role changes throughout the process. We each bring different experiences and expertise to the table so we will often assume leadership responsibilities according to these qualities. For example, my teammate has extensive experience in technology so she leads us in incorporating technology into our curriculum. Another teammate has had much success in partnering with our parent community so she takes on a leadership role in structuring our parent volunteer program. I have had positive outcomes in student writing so I tend to lead in this area.
Our discussions in class during week 2 helped me to understand that this type of leadership can be referred to as a type of “distributive leadership”. Distributive leadership is a good way to utilize the skills of all members of a team, whether the team is a grade level, a school, a community, or a district. Distributive leadership is an interactive process rather than a static one. The outcomes stemming from a team effort under distributive leadership reflect the talents of all, and are not due simply to the leadership of a great principal. This is encouraging to consider and empowers teachers to step up and take on more leadership responsibilities.
Hilty, E., (2011). Teacher leadership: The “new” foundations of teacher education. New York, New York: Peter Lang Publishing, Inc.