The «New» Foundations of Teacher Education – A Reader – Revised edition
Edited By Eleanor Blair
20. Teacher Leadership: Alive and Thriving at the Elementary Level
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Alive and Thriving at the Elementary Level
During the summer of 2007, thirty-four selected kindergarten teachers from across the state of North Carolina came together to begin a journey purposefully crafted to enhance their instructional practice and to build their leadership capacity. This group of teachers, identified as North Carolina Kindergarten Teacher Leaders, was a key component of the state’s early childhood initiative known as The Power of Kindergarten (Power of K). The impetus for this initiative arose from concerns voiced by a number of kindergarten teachers, administrators, and members of the North Carolina Birth Through Kindergarten Higher Education Consortium. These educators were highly concerned that developmentally appropriate practices in North Carolina kindergarten classrooms were being diminished if not lost entirely.
Members of the Early Childhood Division of the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) listened to the concerns and quickly responded. An eight-member Kindergarten Think Tank composed of kindergarten teachers, administrators, and other early childhood professionals was organized. The Think Tank first created a position paper that defined the purpose and requirements for North Carolina kindergartens in the 21st century. Next, plans were made for selecting a cadre of teachers to become leaders in implementing and sustaining the kindergarten program described in the position statement. Interest in the initiative was high—over two hundred kindergarten teachers from all regions of the state applied to become a Kindergarten...
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