By Christina Craft
Leaders are made in classrooms every day: they are made when teachers influence others, they are made when teachers gain support from their students and other teachers, and they are made when teachers motivate others to reach meaningful goals.
Steve Curry, an accomplished instructor with over 30 years of experience, has found the elements of the above definition embedded in the most insightful interpretations of leadership. One program upholding this definition to its core is MetroRESA’s Teacher Leader Endorsement program.
Curry teaches the classes and works with MRESA to coordinate the TLE program.
“I wanted to be part of the TLE program in order to help broaden the leadership skills of the teachers in our classrooms,” Curry said.
Curry says one thing teachers must be able to do is be leaders for their students. This is accomplished by enlisting the support of their students, working toward meeting the objectives of the course work and helping the students understand and be successful. Another thing teachers must be able to do is share the art of their teaching with other teachers. Curry says this advances everyone in their profession.
“So often, teachers do not have the opportunity to see beyond the walls of their classrooms,” Curry said.
TLE exists to resolve this issue
“The teacher leader endorsement course-work provides teachers with more back-ground in leadership, a more formal understanding of what it means to be a leader, and tools to build the relationships and help build the culture in a school so that they can be more effective in their roles and help other teachers be more effective as well,” said Curry.
Sixteen Master Teaching Fellows (MTF) of the Noyce IIMPACT program attended and completed three, 50 hour courses that led to their attainment of the Teacher Leader Endorsement. Being in the program has taught the Master Teacher Fellows how impactful they can be in their classrooms
MTF’s analyzed several writings about leadership and designed and completed an action research project. They completed a classroom teacher observation, developed a professional growth plan and executed the first stages of the plan. They are also participating in leadership activities at their schools, and delivering presentations to various school or system stakeholder groups.
Now they are taking the next steps to sharing their leadership knowledge with their peers.
“Teachers are among the most influential people in our society,” Curry said. “They touch every family in one way or another, for years at a time; their work builds the foundation of everything we do.”
Link to article featured in The Catalyst Vol 4.