Karen DeLawter is West Regional Chapter Coordinator at Kappa Delta Pi.
What makes a teacher leader? All teachers do valuable work, but what distinguishes a teacher from a teacher leader? KDP Leadership Month is the perfect time to share common characteristics from The Power of Teacher Leaders: Their Roles, Influence, and Impact.
- Work ethic. This characteristic is defined as perseverant, resourceful, action oriented, committed, and passionate (York-Barr & Duke, 2004).
- Teamwork. A teacher must work with many different stakeholders and build positive relationships. To build such relationships, he or she must be able to engender trust, work well with colleagues, communicate effectively, and resolve conflicts (Danielson, 2006; Killion & Harrison, 2006).
- Leadership. Teacher leaders lead by engaging, inspiring, and motivating others to improve and become better through their actions (Bascia, 1996). The trait is strongly interconnected with teamwork.
- Openness. Teacher leaders are adaptable, open-minded, and creative. They are open to exploring options to gather the necessary resources to improve the state of education (York-Barr & Duke, 2004). Their relationships are filled with honesty and integrity.
- Vision. Teacher leaders have a vision to identify opportunities for improvement or fix problems within the school. They actively seek out opportunities rather than simply waiting for them to appear (Danielson, 2006). They have a calling to positively influence beyond the walls of their classrooms.
- Positive effect. Teacher leaders are positive. They are leaders who often succeed with the help of their positive effects of optimism, enthusiasm, confidence, and willingness to collaborate (Danielson, 2006).
- Risk taking. This characteristic allows teacher leaders to do whatever is necessary in order for children to learn. They do not mind if they fail or are criticized (Danielson, 2006).
© 2015 Kappa Delta Pi
The Power of Teacher Leaders: Their Roles, Influence, and Impact
Edited by Nathan Bond
TEACHER LEADER CHARACTERISTICS