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Teacher Leaders, Find your influence

In periods where there is no leadership, society stands still. Progress occurs when courageous, skillful leaders seize the opportunity to change things for the better. —Harry S. Truman

In his novel Out of Our Minds: Learning to be Creative, Sir Ken Robinson defines innovation as “the process of putting new ideas into practice.” (Kindle Loc 344) Teachers innovate in their classrooms every day, but in leading outside of the classroom, sometimes teachers need to see what it looks like to innovate.

So far in this journey, you found your inspiration and your passion. Now it's time to find your influence!

When teachers speak up--and policy makers listen

Some Colorado teachers influenced legislation that promises to “shake up the status quo, inspiring innovation in how we teach students and how we prepare and support teachers.” Find out how they did it.

Tips for teachers participating in policy discussions

In a roomful of high heels, business suits, and directors, one math teacher offered her voice to a discussion on the Common Core.  Read her tips for being successful despite intimidation.

Stand Tall & Speak Up: 5 Tips for Addressing your State Board of Ed

Jessica Cuthbertson inspires with a call to action: “We must stand tall and speak up. We must see ourselves as professionals and experts in our field. We must share our stories from the classroom.”

Four ways for teachers to “engage”

How do teachers counteract negative perceptions?  David Cohen identifies four ways for teachers to engage with parents, politicians, and other groups in between.

Viewing the Education Ecosystem

Do teacher leaders miss the forest while focusing on the trees? Ariel Sacks focuses on the importance of teacher leaders as connectors between policy and practice.

Action Step: After reading these articles, do your own research on what state and local initiatives you could lead or contribute to. Do you want to start in an area of passion and need or do you want to join a conversation that desperately needs a teacher’s perspective? Create one goal for finding your influence in your department, building, district, or state.

Want to engage with a group of teacher leaders from around the nation and the world? Join the CTQ Collaboratory and become a part of a growing virtual community engaged in conversations around teaching, learning, and leadership.


Jon Hanbury commented on March 5, 2014 at 9:43pm:

a place at the table

just this evening, i read an interesting message from the nctm president linda m. gojak on "raising teachers' voices" in the recent summing up.  she makes her point about advocating for our profession by quoting a colleague -- "if we're not at the table, we might be on the menu!!"  i'd rather take a place at the table than on the plate!

Brianna Crowley Brianna Crowley commented on March 8, 2014 at 10:13pm:



I 100% agree with you--I would rather fight to represent our profession and our expertise than sit back, remain passive, and allow those with little to no experience in the classroom to continue to dictate what is best for both students and teachers. More action and less reaction is necessary for our profession to move into a position of power at the decision-making table.

Lori Nazareno commented on March 7, 2014 at 8:52am:

We live in interesting times.

We live in interesting times. While there is a lot of unrest in all major systems, education included, there are also unprecendented opportunities for teachers to step up and influence the future of our profession. There are those who see gloom and doom, and there are those who see possibilities. Those who see possiblities will be the ones who shape the future.

I love the collecion of resources and advice from some of the most influential teacher leaders in the country! These are DEFINITELY word of wisdom (and actionable items) that have worked. If they can do it, so can I and so can each and every teacher who sees possibilities!

Brianna Crowley Brianna Crowley commented on March 8, 2014 at 10:17pm:

Thanks so much!


Thanks so much for always being a positive voice for change, for dreams, and for rejecting the cynism that can plague our educational environments. You wrote:

Those who see possiblities will be the ones who shape the future.

This will become a mantra for me in the coming months. Thanks for stopping by to encourage teacher leaders to remain solutions-focused and willing to take action on their dreams and ideas for the future.

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