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Looking Within: Teachers Leading Their Own Learning
Author:  L. Varlas
Title/Position: Project Manager, Inservice blog, ASCD
Format:  audio, video
The Exemplar will be most useful for: Learning More About Teacher Leadership
Varlas asserts that teacher expertise and experience is the "most powerful and ample" resource for bringing about education change. However, according to a survey by the National Staff Development Council, less than one-fourth of U.S. teachers believe they have any voice in school decision-making and almost no control over their professional learning. This exemplar encourages teacher leaders to open their doors to colleagues and lead by encouraging collaboration and professional development.

According to the article, teacher leaders in Michigan and Texas have begun taking on these roles. Classroom teachers in the featured districts are involved in presenting workshops and opening up their rooms as demonstration sites. The benefits of this teacher-centered approach include increased buy-in on the part of all teachers and in-house support and follow-up.

For tangible changes to occur, teacher leaders must be a strategic part of ongoing, job-embedded professional development. Their understanding of classroom responsibilities, pressures, and limitations allow them to relate to their audience and provide purposeful professional development that will increase student achievement.
Link to Exemplar:  http://www.ascd.org/ascd-express/vol7/705-varlas.aspx
Domains: domain 7
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