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Teachers' Roles As Curriculum Leaders

Ruby writes from the Philippines. She teaches education and communication courses in HEI. Ruby holds an MA in Education.

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"Curriculum leadership can be defined as a "set of important roles and activities that each teacher does in relation to curriculum planning, curriculum design, curriculum implementation, and curriculum evaluation," claims Pawilen (2019).

Having taught for more than 28 years now, I realized that Teachers assume so many varied responsibilities in school including those that are mentioned by Pawilen. Teachers lead in several ways, not just to students, but even to their fellow teachers. Teacher leaders help students succeed in many ways. These functions, whether formal or informal, strengthen the school as a whole. Various instructors lead their peers because they can lead in many ways.
How can teachers lead? The following ten positions illustrate how teachers may help their schools succeed.
1. Source
Sharing educational materials helps teachers, especially new ones. Websites, educational materials, texts, and other student resources are examples. Articles, books, lesson or unit plans, and assessment tools may also be shared.

Danna helps Carla, a new teacher, set up her classroom. Danna provides Carla with more number lines, signs to display on the wall, and the grade-level language arts pacing chart. She shares her materials to Carla who has just come and has many needs.

2. Educational expert

There is no other group of professionals who are better equipped and understand education other than teachers. Educational experts assist other teachers. Differentiating education or organizing lessons with other teachers may be provided. Instructional specialists may examine research-based classroom tactics (Marzano, Pickering, & Pollock, 2001) and discuss school-appropriate instructional methods with colleagues.

James recommends inviting numerous English instructors to discuss writing instruction after his science colleagues complain about students' lab reports. Science instructors evaluate lab reports with two English teachers as instructional experts. English teachers offer writing-improvement methods.

Understanding topic standards, how curriculum components relate, and how to utilize the curriculum to organize instruction and assessment is crucial to uniform curriculum implementation across a school. Curriculum experts help instructors set standards, follow the curriculum, utilize common pacing charts, and create shared assessments.

Delly, her school's foreign studies team leader, supervises five language arts and five social studies instructors. The team agrees to standardize school curriculums and assessments using English and social studies standards. Delly offers to help the team grasp the criteria and create and analyze quarterly evaluations.

3. Classroom Helper

Classroom supporters demonstrate, coteach, or observe and give comments to assist instructors to adopt new concepts. Peer consultation was identified by Blase & Blase (2006). As they reflected on practice and matured together, teachers' self-efficacy increased, and they developed a bias for action (improvement through cooperation).

Daphne asks Marcy for classroom help with nonlinguistic representation tools including graphic organizers, manipulatives, and kinesthetic exercises (Marzano et al., 2001). Daphne and Marcy plan and present a class using many tactics. They request two half-days of professional release time from the principal: one to study more about the method and design a lesson together, and the other to coteach Marcy's pupils and discuss it.

4. Educator

Teacher leaders also organize staff training. Teachers may focus on improving student learning when they learn together. Professional development becomes more relevant, focused on teachers' classroom activities, and connected to student learning gaps. Learning communities help break school isolation.

Mark chairs the professional development committee and represents language arts. Teachers back map the year's professional development program. This strategy starts by assessing student learning requirements, instructors' present knowledge and abilities in target areas, and diverse groups of teachers' development needs. Using their findings, the committee can create and implement a professional development plan.

5. Mentor

Teacher leaders mentor new teachers. New teachers learn about instruction, curriculum, procedure, practices, and politics through mentors, who are role models. Mentoring requires time and skill and helps young professionals improve.

Berta is a good first-grade teacher but not a school leader. The principal encourages her to coach her new coworker and a rookie teacher. Berta attends the district's three-day mentoring training. As a mentor, she will help her partner navigate the district, school, and classroom and introduce her to the community. Berta is happy with her teammate's teaching success.

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5. Principal

School leaders serve on groups such as school improvement teams, grade-level or department chairs, promote school projects and represent the school on community or district task forces or committees. School leaders embrace the school's vision, match their professional goals with those of the school and district, and take responsibility for the school's success.

Jack, the student council staff sponsor, volunteers to assist the administration to involve students in school improvement plans. The school development team seeks students' input while revising its almost 10-year-old vision. Jack organizes a daylong meeting for 10 staff and 10 kids, from nonattenders to grade-level presidents, to discuss school life. Joshua works with the school improvement team facilitator to ensure that meeting activities are acceptable for pupils so they will actively engage.

8. Data trainer

Despite having lots of data, teachers seldom use it to educate. Teacher leaders can facilitate discussions that help colleagues analyze and improve education.

Anna, the 10th-grade language arts team leader, leads her colleagues in reviewing the latest writing sample, a teacher-designed evaluation given to all entering 10th-graders. She helps instructors examine students' writing skills and limitations as a group, as individuals, by classroom, and in disaggregated groups by race, gender, and prior school. This data informs their teaching.

9. Changemaker

“Never happy with the existing quo but rather constantly seeking for a better way,” teacher leaders may also inspire change (Larner, 2004, p. 32). Catalyst teachers are confident and dedicated to growth. They analyze student learning using questions.

Gary worries that teachers are treating pupils differently in a staff meetings. Gary wants instructors to hear what his extra-help kids say. Garry urges his colleagues to investigate race and school discipline referrals while discussing low student success. He advises instructors to evaluate how they might boost student engagement and accomplishment instead of blaming kids.

10. Student

Teacher leaders learn. Learners grow, exhibit lifelong learning, and assist other students to succeed.

Erica, the new multilingual instructor, loves to learn. She announces her classroom experiment at every team or faculty meeting. Her curiosity spreads. Her willingness to communicate what works and doesn't inspires other instructors to discuss their teaching and student learning. Teachers learn through faculty and team meetings. Erica breaks teachers' isolation by talking about learning.

Everyone's Roles

Teachers lead in many ways. Formal leadership posts have obligations. As instructors engage, other informal positions arise. Teachers may use their skills and passions to lead. Teacher leaders affect school culture, student learning, and peer practice.


References

Blase, J., & Blase, J. (2006). Teachers bringing out the best in teachers: A guide to peer consultation for administrators and teachers. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

Larner, M. (2004). Pathways: Charting a course for professional learning. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

Marzano, R., Pickering, D., & Pollock, J. (2001). Classroom instruction that works. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.

Pawilen, G. T. (2019). The teacher and the school curriculum. Quezon City: Rex Bookstore Inc.

© 2022 Ruby Campos

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