Ideas for Growing Innovative Teacher Leaders

Recently I asked groups of teachers to share an exciting lesson or project to show what teaching and learning using an iPad can look like to showcase for families and community. I received *🦗 crickets 🦗 * - nothing! These teachers were doing phenomenal things that I saw every time I walked into their classrooms, but didn’t feel empowered to share. Maybe because they didn’t feel what they were doing was that special, or because they didn’t feel empowered to view themselves as an innovative instructor. 

As I think about growing leaders with the staff I coach, it’s been hard for me to impress upon staff the value they can give and get through sharing their work with colleagues. I’d love to grow our district’s network of innovative educators and empower these teachers who are doing impressive things in their classroom to share their ideas with others in the district.

One idea I had was to create cohort groups that could share the practices and ideas they have in common as a group, thus supporting each other as they build their leadership and presentation skills. What other ways have you found to grow the leadership skills of innovative teachers and empower them to take on leadership roles?

4 replies

February 02, 2023

Love your idea for implementing communities of practice in your district! I wonder if part of the lack of response is a time issue as well? Do teachers feel they have the time in their daily work to take on leadership roles in addition to their current responsibilities? To support more sharing, could you work to integrate this kind of share-out into existing gatherings (PLC, department, or all-school faculty meetings), so it doesn't feel like an added thing on a to-do list? Could you create a quick survey for faculty to complete, sharing an innovative classroom practice, so that then you can celebrate those practices in a newsletter of some kind or on district social media?

These are a few things we've been trying at my institution, and making the share-out process as quick and easy as possible has resulted in more willingness of instructors to share their work.

I look forward to seeing what other suggestions you receive on this thread!

February 04, 2023

I recently developed a monthly Tech Integration Monthly Challenge. Our goal was for the teachers who are using the iPad to transform learning to share and then also allow for others to grow and learn how to use the tool. I also wanted to allow for voice and choice from the teachers as a model they can use in their own classrooms. I decided to incentive it to help with the participation.


February 13, 2023

I love this idea; thanks for sharing! I love that you have some levels of incentive built in as well. That's something I would love to figure out how to build!

February 06, 2023

Something we started this year was a campus podcast! When a teacher has an innovative or even simple but effective digital learning idea, we've started recording conversations about it to share with the rest of the campus. The episodes have been as quick as 5 minutes to as long as 15, depending on where the conversation goes. We use GarageBand for the audio, then attach it to a picture and post to YouTube to make it easy to share. This has been an easy way for our teachers to share with each other since it's literally just a conversation about the cool things they're doing and they don't have to be on video or be up in front of anyone!

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