As a result of funding provided by the Teacher Leadership and Compensation (TLC) grant, many Iowa schools are placing teachers into newly created leadership positions. All school districts served by Area Education Agency 267 (AEA 267) have applied for this voluntary grant. While 10 of those schools have already begun putting their teacher leadership systems in place, the remaining 43 districts will begin implementation this fall.
Iowa’s Teacher Leadership and Compensation System allows districts to tap into the expertise of their most qualified teachers to improve overall classroom instruction and raise student achievement. As the most comprehensive teacher leadership system in the nation, Iowa’s TLC System provides flexibility to support teachers’ professional development and growth and the improvement of teaching and learning.
Teaching is critical and complex work, and expectations for students and schools are higher than ever. Without ongoing opportunities for learning and collaboration among teachers, meeting those expectations becomes even more difficult. According to the Alliance for Excellent Education (2005), “The single most important factor in determining student performance is the teacher.” Implementation of a teacher leadership system paves the way for more support and greater collaboration for all teachers to learn from each other. As teachers’ capacity for success increases, so does their ability to positively impact students.
While teacher leaders devote much of their time to supporting teachers in their district, they also need opportunities for networking and their own professional learning.
AEA 267 has plans in place to offer such support. Since every district’s TLC grant is unique, and teacher leaders and administrators have a variety of strengths and needs, experts at AEA 267 have developed a Professional Learning Series that will offer districts flexibility and choice.
The teacher leadership team at AEA 267 is excited to partner with districts as they work to improve student learning through the implementation of effective teacher leadership systems.
Heather Gould is a consultant with Area Education Agency 267 based out of Cedar Falls, Marshalltown and Clear Lake. Iowa’s Area Education Agencies (AEAs) were created in 1974 by the Iowa legislature to ensure equal educational opportunities for all children from birth through age 21. As regional service agencies, AEAs provide special education and school improvement services for students, families, teachers, administrators and their communities. Learn more at www.aea267.k12.ia.us.