Teachers have always been playing diverse roles as a leader when it comes to student development and learning. Teachers serve their lives just to make a difference in the lives of their students. At present, leadership roles have begun to develop and promise real opportunities for teachers to impact educational change. Teachers are serving their services in education as researchers, mentors, facilitating professional development activities, counselors, and learners as well. Moreover, teachers also take individual initiatives to implement new and advance programs which they believe will result in positive change.
In this article we have highlighted the most important roles teachers play as leaders:
- Resource Provider
The very first and crucial role played by a teacher is the role of a resource provider. The teacher provides relevant resource material to his/ her students and to their colleagues and peers.
The teacher must be possess a welcoming approach to the students and other teachers. The students always come up to the teachers for any information or other queries. The teacher must always provide his/ her students with correct information and also instruct them on how and where to use the particular information.
On the other hand a teacher is also a resource provider to its peers and colleagues by sharing resources such as, educational websites, instructional materials, lesson plans, assessment plans, teaching aids, best teaching methodologies, reference books, or any other resources required to use within a classroom with the students. A good Teacher Leader will always strive on spreading their experiences and knowledge with others rather than just keeping it with themselves.
- All time Supporters
The teachers play the role of all time supporters towards their students. The students seek their teachers’ support when learning new skills and terminologies. The teacher may support the students as a mentor, as a mother, as a coach, and even a counselor depending on the student’s situation and problems.
The teachers are also supportive towards other teachers and school administration as they are considered to perform multiple tasks. A teacher can support within a classroom by helping other teachers with observing and providing feedback, by implementing new ideas and methods, or even by demonstrating a new lesson. Peer learning and consultations result in teachers’ self-efficacy i.e. the ability to believe in one self and the capabilities of being successful in particular tasks.
Teachers are considered to be the role models for the students. One of the main role a teacher plays in a student’s life is of a mentor. The students look up to their teachers especially when they are puzzled in choosing for their careers in future, selecting the best college or university or seeking advice in personality development.
Being a mentor takes a great deal of time and proficiency and a major contribution to the development of a new professional. Teacher Leaders act as mentors to the new teachers by guiding them with the structure and curriculum, procedures and policies, about the students and their profiles.
- Professional Learning Facilitator
Teachers also play an important role in facilitating professional learning opportunities among staff members. Regular practices reveal that when teachers learn with and from one and other, they focus more on planning and implementing strategies and practices for the improvement of students’ learning.
- School Leader
When you talk about a school leader, the teacher has a big responsibility to perform. When a teacher plays the role of a school leader it means he/ she serve their services in the school committee, act as a departmental or grade-level chairperson, and represents the school on district or state level. The teacher’s main goal is to share the vision of the school, align his/ her professional goals and mission keeping in mind the school as a whole.
- Instructional Specialist
Efficient teachers also play great role in and as Instructional Specialists. They help and support other teachers in planning and organizing effective teaching strategies that help in enhancing proper learning of the students. This help may include ideas for differentiating instruction or planning lessons in partnership with fellow teachers. Being an instructional specialist, a teacher might study research-based classroom strategies, explore different methodologies for teaching different subjects and their practical implementation in classrooms. A teacher leader must share his/ her research reports and results with other teachers for their better understanding and learning.
- Curriculum Specialist
No can play this role as best as a teacher. The teachers are the ones who teach the students. They have students from diverse culture, mental abilities and understanding levels. A teacher can be the best curriculum specialist keeping in mind all the conditions and needs, during a curriculum is planned and structured. Planning and structuring a proper curriculum is not an easy task. It requires years of experience and exceptional command over the educational subjects. A curriculum specialist also leads and guides teachers to agree upon the content standards, plan instructions and assessments following the curriculum plan and structure.
A good leader is always the one who is ready to adapt new changes and learning. This quality is demonstrated in a democratic leader and not in an autocratic leader. Teaching is such a profession in which there is always something new to learn. A good teacher is the one who is good learner and doesn’t claim to be a know it all. Teachers can also learn from their students and there’s nothing to be ashamed about. A teacher is the role model for the students, if the teacher will portray her role as a learner, so will the students.
Teachers reveal leadership roles in multiple, at times overlapping ways. Some of these roles are formal with assigned responsibilities, whereas other times it is more informal, when interacting with peers and students. A teacher leader focuses on to shape the culture of their schools, improve student learning, and influence practice among their peers.