**Curtis, R. (2013, February). Finding a way: Leveraging teacher leadership to meet unprecedented demands. Washington, DC: The Aspen Institute. Available at http://www.aspendrl.org/portal/browse/ DocumentDetail?documentId=1574&download
This paper discusses how new forms of teacher leadership can help transform students’ learning experiences and teachers’ work experiences. The author advocates for a strategic approach towards teacher leadership that integrates evaluation systems that prioritize growth and development, expands career options, considers compensation reform, and reexamines the teacher role and how instruction should be delivered. When designed to address student learning and teachers’ work experiences, a school’s vision of teacher leadership roles and their corresponding structures can be transformative entities in an education system. To illustrate what approaches to fostering teacher leadership look like in practice, the piece presents vignettes of select urban districts’ teacher leadership initiatives. The paper closes with ideas for how to address the challenges and nuances of developing leadership structures at the state and local level.
Center for Strengthening the Teaching Profession (2009). Teacher leadership skills framework: Overview. Tacoma, WA: Author. Available at http://cstp-wa.org/cstp2013/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/ Teacher-Leadership-Framework.pdf
This resource offers a framework of the knowledge and skills that are important for effective teacher leaders across a variety of roles. According to the framework, an effective teacher leader requires a particular set of knowledge and skills, dispositions, attitudes, and opportunities to exercise leadership. The specified skills fall into five main categories: (1) working with adult learners, (2) communication, (3) collaboration, (4) knowledge of content and pedagogy, and (5) systems thinking. For each category, the document includes a vignette, a set of questions, and a resource list to illustrate relevant dilemmas teacher leaders face and deepen the reader’s understanding of the category.
The Aspen Institute & Leading Educators. (2014). Leading from the front of the classroom. Washington, DC: The Aspen Institute. Available at http://www.aspendrl.org/portal/browse/DocumentDetail?documentId=2402&download
This article lays out strategies for implementing and promoting teacher leadership in schools and districts. The authors begin by covering some of the common mistakes that lead to unsuccessful teacher leadership programs. To avoid these mistakes, they promote structuring teacher leadership around a combination of form—the structure and definition of the teacher leadership role—and function—the purpose and responsibilities of the teacher leaders. The article then identifies four areas of focus to create a leadership program that unifies form and function: designing for impact, knowing context, defining measures, and building strategically. For each of these areas, the article addresses common missteps, suggests guiding questions to help inform the creation of the program, and provides high-impact actions that leadership can take.
**This document is considered a priority reading.