"The most powerful learning experience of our program has been talking with the cohort of awesome teacher leaders....And feeling like I am not alone....I am not the only one who has felt deflated and exhausted. I am now feeling more motivated and ready to ride into an even brighter future!"
-- Current Participant
Why participate in a Teacher Leadership Certificate Program?
Greatness By Design, the 2012 report on educator excellence published by the California’s State Superintendent of Public Instruction, parallels a growing national consensus on the rationale for districts to invest greater resources in further developing the potential of teacher leaders to transform student-learning outcomes. The report highlights the following motivations for investing in the formal development of teacher leaders.
- Expert teachers & leaders are perhaps the most important resource for improving student learning.
- Many accomplished teachers have the desire & capability to provide professional support to their colleagues & prefer to continue working in the classroom rather than becoming administrators.
- There are few formalized career options that provide additional professional growth for teachers.
- The highest-achieving nations make substantial investments in teacher quality.
- Every aspect of school reform – the creation of more challenging curriculum, the use of more thoughtful assessments, the invention of new model schools and programs – depends on highly-skilled educators.
The Teacher Leader Model Standards provide the following framework for understanding the seven complimentary domains that commonly constitute the multiple facets of teacher leadership in schools and districts.
- Domain I: Fostering a Collaborative Culture to Support Educator Development and Student Learning
- Domain II: Accessing and Using Research to Improve Practice and Student Learning
- Domain III: Promoting Professional Learning for Continuous Improvement
- Domain IV: Facilitating Improvements in Instruction and Student Learning
- Domain V: Promoting the Use of Assessments and Data for School and District Improvement
- Domain VI: Improving Outreach and Collaboration with Families and Community
- Domain VII: Advocating for Student Learning and the Profession
The Sonoma County Office of Education’s Teacher Leadership Certificate Program is designed to provide teacher leaders with practical, context-specific learning experiences that will develop further competency and expertise in each of the seven domains of the Teacher Leader Model Standards.
Why might a district invest in the Teacher Leadership Certificate for their Teacher Leaders?
- The capstone project experience is developed collaboratively with the teacher leader’s site administrator(s) and grounded in a relevant and compelling problem of practice at the teacher leader’s site. Site administrators are invited and encouraged to join the Teacher Leadership Cohort once each semester, and twice over an academic year, to engage as a collaborative thought-partner in connecting the teacher leader’s developing skills and expertise to relevant implementation and growth opportunities within their shared school/district context.
- SCOE will provide program participants ongoing consultation & personalized support for the successful implementation of the site-specific capstone project in the academic year following the teacher leader’s completion of the Teacher Leader Certificate Program.
- Teachers who currently play informal or formal leadership roles benefit from both the explicit development of additional skills required by their leadership role as well as the support network of teacher-leader peers provided by the program’s cohort model.
- Administrators may consider encouraging teacher leaders to apply as a school or district team. Colleagues who share the program’s cohort experience are well positioned to collaboratively build skills & expertise that can be amplified and sustained in the school/district context.