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 the Eta Zeta Chapter. In August, Taylor and Francis Publishers and Kappa Delta Pi released his new book on teacher leadership.
Who is your hero? Is there someone in your life whom you admire and respect? My hero is Dr. Ann Lieberman. For many years, she was a professor at Teachers College in New York City, and she just recently retired from Stanford University.
She inspires me because she is a brilliant thinker and a prolific researcher and writer. Even though she no longer teaches, she remains very active in the profession. In fact, she will deliver one of the keynote addresses at Kappa Delta Pi’s upcoming research conference in October in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. The conference is titled Learning, Leadership, and Practice: Educating Global Citizens. According to the advanced publicity, Dr. Lieberman will share her insights about the current state of teacher leadership.
In my professional opinion, Dr. Lieberman is one of the leading authorities, if not the leading authority, in the field of teacher leadership. I was very honored when she agreed to write a chapter for the book that I edited and Taylor and Francis and Kappa Delta Pi published. The Power of Teacher Leaders: Their Roles, Influence and Impact examines the various ways that teachers are serving as leaders and the impact that teacher leaders are having on student learning and the larger school community.
In her chapter, Dr. Lieberman highlights three programs that support the development of teacher leaders. Each program takes a unique approach to providing opportunities for teachers to learn how to lead. I especially like her explanations for why these programs are successful. She writes, “In the process of paying attention to teaching learning first [her emphasis], teachers feel respected and raise their expectations of themselves beyond I am just a teacher and get opportunities to think and act differently” (p. 17). In other words, when schools value and support teachers, help them to develop their leadership skills, and provide opportunities for them to have a voice, the benefits are reaped by everyone—students, teachers, and schools.
Teachers, administrators, and policymakers should heed this advice. Respect teachers, and make their learning a priority. Dr. Lieberman champions teachers and believes they are leaders. As a teacher myself, I appreciate that perspective. My hero is Dr. Ann Lieberman, and she’s a teacher leader. Who is your hero? Why?