The «New» Foundations of Teacher Education – A Reader – Revised edition
Edited By Eleanor Blair
17. Overcoming the Obstacles to Leadership
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Overcoming the Obstacles to Leadership
Susan Moore Johnson and Morgaen L. Donaldson
Lacey’s high school needed her talent and skills. Located in an urban, working-class community, the school was struggling to serve all students well and had failed to make Adequate Yearly Progress for two years running. As a social studies teacher, Lacey had developed considerable skill in teaching with a project-based format during her four years in the classroom, and her students were making steady progress as a result. But the reach of her expertise was limited by her classroom walls. Teachers in her school were dedicated to their students, but not to one another’s growth. Whatever they had learned over time—how to do project-based learning, how to facilitate classroom discussions, how to effectively use technology—remained largely private. No one asked; no one told. As a result, the school’s instructional capacity remained static, no more than the sum of individual teachers’ strengths and deficits.
The standards and accountability movement has placed extraordinary demands on schools like Lacey’s to improve instructional outcomes. To meet these demands, principals are appointing increasing numbers of teacher leaders to work with colleagues in such roles as instructional coach, lead teacher, mentor coordinator, and data analyst. Because recent large-scale retirements have left a shrinking pool of veteran teachers, principals often ask teachers in the second stage of their career, with 4 to 10 years...
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