This week Rachel & I interviewed my principal to obtain some information about my district’s current mentoring program. Rachel and I are working together on our Teach to Lead project and we are working to improve the mentoring programs at both of our schools. One current complaint that my principal had was the way our district goes about choosing mentors to work with the new teachers. My principal specifically said that mentors should be teacher leaders and it seems that some mentors should not have been given their role to begin with (because they are not teacher leaders). So this led me to question: How do you find and select teacher leaders?
I read an article from the Teacher-Led Professional Learning site titled, “Selecting Teacher-Leaders.” In the article they discussed three areas that should be addressed when selecting teacher leaders. Those areas are, demonstrated job skills, observable behavioral competencies, and prior evidence of success. Demonstrated job skills refers to the skills that are highlighted in the job description of each teacher. Observable behavioral competencies refers to the habits of behavior that could help predict how an individual would react and perform in certain tasks. And finally, prior evidence of success looks to address your track record-have you met your goals at a high level of performance? These three areas don’t seem to be too confusing, right? Wrong! Because they are so broad they can be used to select a variety of teacher leader roles, however this also makes it difficult for administration to develop a selection process for each type of teacher leader role.
Specifics are needed in every area to select teacher leaders and honestly this can be a lot of work for a principal. Specific job descriptors are needed for each type of teacher leader job, and admin needs to discuss which behavioral competencies are the most important to have for each role they are trying to fill. I’m sure you’re getting the point...in order for things to be fair they need to be laid out clearly. I think this can be done it’s just finding the time to do it. Once a clear set of expectations is put in place for how teacher leaders can be selected for different roles within a school (whether it’s team leader, mentors, coaches, etc) multiple buildings can share that information within a district to use across multiple levels. What I’m wondering is does anyone know or have a list of selection areas for teacher leaders in your buildings? I would love to see some of the requirements if you have them!
Here is the link to the article that I referenced: http://teacherledprofessionallearning.org/steps/selecting-teacher-leaders/