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Teacher Leadership. Behaviors and Importance of Teacher Leaders - Essay Example

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For several years continuous research on teacher leadership has been conducted and its importance for students as well as educational institutes has been identified (Ackerman, 1996). Teacher leadership is believed to have played a major role in the act of changes in education. …
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Teacher Leadership. Behaviors and Importance of Teacher Leaders
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Teacher Leadership. Behaviors and Importance of Teacher Leaders

Teacher leadership is believed to have played a major role in the act of changes in education. The concept of teacher leadership has played a vital role in changing the professional nature of teachers, changing the reward system of teachers, improvement in the teaching profession with the concept of continuous change and elevating participation of the teachers in the process of making effective decisions. When researchers started researching the notion of teacher leadership, they associated the notion with those teachers who are situated in the formal leadership roles such as teachers working as experienced teachers and teachers working as the department heads (Saha, 2009). Teachers who have assumed these formal position were found to conduct their leadership responsibility outside the class rooms and were given extra time to conduct these responsibilities. Teachers who had assumed formal position as leaders helped other teachers in problem solving and improving school conditions. Teachers assumed these position only with the aim of gaining growth in their professional life or if it was necessary to help their students and classrooms. Teachers who assume these positions do not act as a superior being, they rather work with other teachers as partners or teammates. When teachers assume these leadership positions their roles as teachers increased and these roles enhanced their professional life and teachers started gaining increased say in administrative as well as curriculum aspects of the educational institute. The main point that needs to be taken into consideration is that the effects of this kind of leadership of teachers was obtained because these teachers assumed formal leadership positions in educational institutes and they did not practice leadership roles inside the classroom setting. Researchers have figured out that more positive impact of teacher leadership can be obtained if teachers practice leadership roles within their classrooms (Muijs, 2007). The authority structure of schools and educational institutes has been altered in such a way that responsibilities of teachers of these institutes have been increased and these responsibilities promote the notion of teacher leaders within the context of classrooms. Body According to Muijs, the concept of teacher leadership refers to the various behaviors and activities that are together conducted by teachers within an educational institute(Muijs, 2007). This definition of teacher leadership differentiates between the leadership roles played by a teacher within the class and outside the class. The difference is that teacher leaders make use of their relationship with students and colleagues along with curriculum to bring improvement to the educational institute. According to Rinn, the leadership behaviors that are exhibited by the teachers result in enhanced performance of the educational center and the students inside the institute as well as outside the institute but these behaviors are exhibited by teachers within the classroom only(Rinn, 2003). These behaviors are quite informal as compared to the formal behaviors that a teacher exhibits while she is conducting leadership roles outside the classroom. The leadership roles that are conducted outside the classroom are conducted with the aim of enhancing performance of other teachers. The difference between conducting teacher leadership roles within and outside the classrooms does not clearly explain or simplify the notion of teacher leadership. Various activities have been referred to activities conducted by teacher leaders. These activities include: development of the ... Read More
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