Nathan Bond is an associate professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at Texas State University. He also serves as the faculty counselor of Eta Zeta Chapter. In August, Taylor and Francis Publishers and Kappa Delta Pi released his new book on teacher leadership.
Marilyn Katzenmeyer and Gayle Moller wrote a book in 2009 titled Awakening the Sleeping Giant. These scholars argued that teachers in the education profession resemble a sleeping giant. The authors’ wording conjures up the image of a huge snoring mythological beast that appears oblivious to the surrounding commotion.
In some ways, teachers are like the giant. They possess untapped power, and they have remained relatively quiet throughout the clamor for school reform. The authors challenge teachers to mobilize as a group and act as teacher leaders who initiate positive change. Many teachers, especially those in the United States, are awakening from their deep slumber and are using their content and pedagogical expertise to make improvements in their schools.
Five years have passed since Katzenmeyer and Moller wrote their classic book and challenged teachers to use their gigantic power. In the new book The Power of Teacher Leaders: Their Roles, Influence and Impact (published by Taylor and Francis Publishers and Kappa Delta Pi), which I edited, scholars present various research-based ways that teachers are leading in their schools. What distinguishes this book from others is that the authors of the chapters focus on the impact that teacher leaders are having on student academic success and school communities.
How would you characterize the teachers in your school? Do they act like sleeping giants or awakened giants on the move? Are they passively letting events happen, or are they actively working with the administrators and their colleagues to bring about positive change? It’s time for teachers to realize the leadership power that they have as a group and use it for good in their schools.
If you’re interested in learning more about what it means to be a teacher leader, I’m presenting a webinar on the topic this coming Tuesday, Sept. 9. It’s free for members to register. Please join me!