7 Teacher Leader Model Standards You Need to Know

Teacher Leader Model Standards are important tools for educators who want to improve their overall effectiveness and eventually take on leadership roles in their schools or districts. The Master of Science in Education – Teacher Education – Curriculum & Instruction – Teacher Leader online program from Youngstown State University (YSU) can help educators develop a greater understanding of these important model standards and start conversations that will lead to meaningful change in the classroom.

This inclusive, online program is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), and students can complete it in as few as 12 months. With multiple start dates, it’s the perfect option for working professionals who want to elevate their leadership skills in education settings.

What Are Teacher Leader Standards?

According to the National Education Association, the “Teacher Leader Model Standards define how teacher leadership can be distinguished from, but work in tandem with, administrative leadership roles to support quality teaching and enhance student learning.” The Leadership Exploratory Consortium identified the skills, knowledge or competencies teachers need to master in order to qualify for positions of leadership within the field of education.

The Teacher Leader Model Standards — which were determined through careful research, collecting data via surveys, and discourse centered around shared experiences — should be used to “inform the development of curriculum and professional learning opportunities to support teacher leaders’ professional growth.” Strong leadership is necessary for progress and utilizing these carefully constructed standards is the surest way to develop leaders that can truly prepare your school for success.

7 Teacher Leaders Standards To Know

When teachers are provided with a clear path to leadership positions and the opportunity to develop the necessary skills to thrive in those positions, they can build an educational environment that gives students a greater chance of achieving academic success. Here are the essential Teacher Leader Standards you’ll need to foster growth in both students and educators.

1. Foster a Collaborative Culture for Educators and Students

Teacher Leaders should have a strong grasp of how adults learn and grow. Educators can use this knowledge to encourage collaboration and establish a culture built on trust, respect and a constant effort to improve instruction techniques. For example, educators who foster a collaborative culture also:

• Model effective listening skills
• Welcome diverse perspectives
• Develop collective wisdom

2. Access and Use Research for Practice and Student Learning

Teacher leaders should recognize and embrace the importance of research and its essential role in the professional development of their fellow educators. This includes:

• Assisting colleagues in utilizing research
• Facilitating efforts to analyze student data
• Supporting colleagues in research collaborations

3. Promote Professional Learning for Continuous Improvement

Teacher leaders are aware that the world of education is constantly evolving and that they should utilize technological advancements to help boost student learning and promote teacher development. Teacher leaders who promote professional learning and continuous improvement do the following:

• Facilitate unique and differentiated professional development and learning opportunities
• Identify and implement appropriate emerging technologies to promote teacher learning
• Advocate for colleagues to have the necessary time to participate in job-embedded professional learning

4. Facilitate Improvements in Instruction and Student Learning

Teacher leaders should be continuous learners with comprehensive knowledge of the teaching and learning processes. They should set the tone for a collaborative culture where all teachers work together to promote instructional practices with “a shared mission vision and goals.” Teacher leaders who facilitate improvements also:

• Engage in reflective dialog with fellow teachers
• Mentor colleagues to help support their professional development
• Promote equity and diversity through strategic instructional strategies

5. Promote the Use of Assessments and Data

Teacher leaders should know best practices for academic research and assessment methods. They should collaborate with their fellow teachers to ensure that these practices are used to improve student learning. Teacher leaders who promote assessment and data:

• Use research and assessment data to improve “instructional practices or organizational structures”
• Build a culture where colleagues aren’t reluctant to have difficult conversations about student learning data
• Help colleagues become more comfortable with various assessment tools

6. Improve Outreach with Families and Community

Teacher leaders recognize the impact of culture and community on the learning environment. They should work diligently to make sure that community stakeholders are involved in the educational process. This includes:

• Showing awareness of the “different backgrounds, ethnicities, cultures, and languages in the school community”
• Understanding the unique educational needs of the community
• Modeling strong communication and collaboration skills with families

7. Advocate for Student Learning and the Profession

Teacher leaders should have a strong understanding of the legislative process as it pertains to education, and they should use their knowledge to advocate on behalf of their students. Teacher leaders who advocate for student learning also:

• Update colleagues on how local or national trends could potentially impact the learning environment
• Collaborate with fellow teachers to “select appropriate opportunities to advocate for the rights and/or needs of students”
• Advocate for the profession in forums beyond the classroom

Learn more about Youngstown State University’s Master of Science in Education – Teacher Education – C&I – Teacher Leader online program.


Educational Testing Service: Teacher Leader Model Standards

National Education Association: The Teacher Leader Model Standards

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