Within every school, there is a sleeping giant of teacher leadership...By helping teachers believe they are leaders, offering opportunities to develop their leadership skills, and creating school cultures that honor their leadership, we can awaken this sleeping giant...
--Katzenmeyer and Moller (2001)
The Sonoma County Office of Education’s Teacher Leadership Certificate Program provides experienced teachers a series of four practiced-based courses that develop the knowledge and skills required to provide effective instructional leadership in their schools and districts.
A growing body of educational research indicates that the potential of teacher leaders to accelerate student learning and school improvement has been woefully underutilized to date (Berg & Souvana, 2012). As teachers develop in their practice, they often assume informal and formal leadership roles in schools. Yet, the range of skills required to meaningfully contribute to school change efforts are often distinct from the knowledge and skills required in the classroom. Teacher leadership skills are not developed in teacher preparation programs.
The program is specifically designed to meet the professional growth needs of K-12 teachers with three or more years of classroom experience that consistently play informal or formal leadership roles in their school or district context. The Teacher Leadership Program emphasizes learning experiences and outcomes that will support equitable student learning opportunities and contribute to robust professional learning cultures among faculty and staff in Sonoma County schools.