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When we think about the teachers in our K12 classrooms we can hope for certain attributes – usually those we remember experiencing when recalling our favorite teachers from the past. We hope for expertise in the subject matter, superior communication skills, patience and humor to name a few. But perhaps the greatest personal attribute a teacher can bring to the classroom is that of leadership. The role of the teacher –leader has captured state and national attention for several years, buoyed recently by a growing body of research showing us that top-performing teacher-leaders have a profoundly positive effect on the students with whom they interact.
An ASCD (Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development) article explored ten roles for teacher –leaders including: resource provider, instructional specialist, curriculum specialist, classroom supporter, learning facilitator, mentor, school leader, data coach, and catalyst for change. We’ve all known some of these specialists. The authors went on to list the most important role of teacher - leaders: learners. We concur.
What better way to lead a child through the journey of learning than by integrating the search for wisdom, knowledge and discovery as an everyday living example in that teacher’s life? A sense of wonder is contagious, and a sense of wonder in a leader is simply unstoppable.
Great teachers take on different roles and tackle distinct challenges, but we all know one when we see one. At WGU Texas, the working teachers who enroll in our graduate teaching programs are leaders demonstrating the value of lifelong learning. We are glad to serve these resilient and caring students, and we are glad they serve our curious and hopeful children.
One excellent example is our graduate Moses Mendoza. Moses earned his Master of Arts in Teaching, and emanates leadership in everything he does. He lives to learn, and learns to live more fully. Read more about his lifelong learning journey here.
And, if you are a teacher looking to improve your practice, and the lives of those you teach, please consider our graduate teaching programs and scholarships. We need more teacher leaders to shape a bright future for our state and transform the lives of those they reach, teach and inspire.
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