#ASCD15 Preview: Battling Constant Change by Developing Teacher Leaders


Joseph Jones and Thomas Vari will be presenting at the 2015 Annual Conference and Exhibition Show.

Session 1408: Battling Constant Change by Developing Teacher Leaders

Saturday, March 21, 2015, 5:00–6:30 p.m., Level 3, Room 351C

By Joseph Jones and Thomas Vari

ASCD15SessionPreviewWith everything pressed upon principals and schools, programs and initiatives often fail because of the growing number of “innovations.” The only way to manage and sustain initiatives is by using a network of teacher leaders, but too often, teacher-leader positions are underutilized in schools. In this session, we will address the problem of failed initiatives by helping participants gain the practical skills and ideas required to build the capacity of school leadership teams and develop teachers’ leadership skills.

The session will be guided by these five key questions that every participant will find answers to before we conclude:

  1. How well are you developing a schoolwide culture of collaboration and ownership among teacher leaders?
  2. What role are your teacher leaders playing in this collaborative culture—disseminator, manager, or leader?
  3. How do your teacher leaders identify and support the use of best practices—from instructional strategies to professional development to PLCs to the use of data? Do they evaluate, assess, and guide or just model?
  4. How do you ensure the implementation and fidelity of best practices throughout all classrooms? Is this your responsibility or the responsibility of all teacher leaders?
  5. How well do teacher leaders support and contribute to the overall accomplishment of the school’s vision and goals?

This session will walk through the realities schools face and address key strategies to develop, support, and sustain teacher leaders.

As educators and administrators we recognize that great schools have strong teacher leaders and strong teacher leaders thrive in an environment that empowers them to grasp their integral role in the school. This structure in turn allows the principal to excel within his or her position.

Joseph Jones is the director of assessment and accountability for Newcastle County Votech School District in Wilmington, Del. He can be found on Twitter @josephjonessr.

Thomas (TJ) Vari is the principal of Everett Meredith Middle School in the Appoquinimink School District in Middletown, Del. He can be found on Twitter @tjvari. Additional ideas and thoughts can be found on their blog.