Teacher Leadership

Two of the biggest concerns aspiring educators have before entering the profession are ongoing support for career paths and advancement and having opportunities to increase their knowledge and skills along the way.

Our teacher leadership and professional development systems provide solutions to these challenges, and what's more, they exceed expectations.

Career Paths and Advancement

In a typical school setting, an educator is presented with two routes: stay in the classroom or become an administrator at the school or district level. The problem is that unless schools have other leadership positions in place, there are limited options for educators to advance while having a direct impact on classrooms.

Our teacher leadership system restructures this model to help partners identify teachers who could take on additional roles and responsibilities with commensurate pay. These teacher leaders provide support to colleagues and the principal.

The mentoring role allows the teacher leaders to maintain close ties to the classroom, even some having their own classrooms, while having a broader impact on students by driving instruction schoolwide. NIET offers expertise in:

  • defining specific teacher leadership roles and responsibilities
  • identifying key experience and characteristics required for teacher leaders
  • training teacher leaders to take on new roles and responsibilities in teacher observation and/or professional development design and delivery
  • developing accountability systems to measure performance in these roles
  • assisting schools in restructuring the school day to allow teacher leaders to maintain their own classrooms while spending significant time co-teaching and providing professional development

Professional Development

A challenge with typical professional development is that it is usually delivered off-site and is not customized to an educator's skills or specific student needs. Our system responds to the challenge by offering professional development that is on-site, job-embedded and relevant to teacher and student needs.

The robust support incorporates research-based strategies of collaborative learning teams and instructional coaching, all with the goals of improving instructional skill and ensuring that these activities ultimately deliver positive results for teachers and their students.

We offer a set of specific protocols to guide the development, delivery and follow-up required to maximize the impact of professional development on teacher effectiveness and student achievement:

  • In weekly scheduled professional development sessions, teachers identify and analyze student learning needs, learn instructional strategies and engage in collaborative planning.
  • Teacher leaders thoroughly vet the strategies in a systematic, action-research process to ensure high-quality strategies and an in-depth understanding of how to teach each one.
  • Weekly professional learning groups follow explicit protocols to guide teams through a process. Teacher leaders are evaluated in part on their ability to design and deliver effective support.
  • Teachers are individually supported in the classroom by expert teacher leaders to hone strategies until they achieve results.
  • As the instructional leaders in the building, principals are given the tools to evaluate and coach the leaders of this integrated professional development.

For more information, please call 1-800-575-NIET (6438) or email info@niet.org.