I read an interesting article this week through ASCD that looked at teacher leadership models, and how to create time for teacher leaders, without impacting FTE and budget. The article was titled “The Little Engine that Could: A PA Leadership Team Casts an Ambitious Vision” and described the journey of a district that needed to provide time for its teacher leaders but did not have the financial support required.
Working at a school where expanding FTE without the accompanying expanding enrollment is not an option, the ideas presented in this article really appealed. The practical solution of bringing leadership in to teach, in order to release teacher leaders got me thinking.
In the Secondary School at Canadian Academy we have high expectations of our HoDs to be curriculum leaders, facilitators of collaboration, plus managers of budget, ordering and other practical tasks. The stipend is not great, nor do teachers receive any release time for this role. Hence the appeal of giving time to HoDs through leadership team members stepping into the classroom.
The challenges would be:
- ensuring the quality of teaching and learning is not impacted by such substitution;
- deciding how often this strategy would be needed;
- ensuring that this would not entail more work for the teacher in working with the substituting administrator.
There are probably more questions I should be considering, too, but the idea is probably worth mulling over some more.