Building a School Culture That Supports Teacher Leadership

As we begin to wrap up our final inquiries of the quarter, our cohort examines the essential question of what we think will be essential to support and sustain success as a coach. This felt very relevant to me. After this quarter and the hands on work we have done during our peer coaching work, I have naturally been reflecting on what my coaching role will look like in the near future. I understand what the traditional coaching role can look like when it is held as a specific title and role, but I don’t see myself leaving the classroom in the near future. With the essential question in mind, I wanted to explore how I can continue to grow as a coach while remaining in a classroom teacher role.

ISTE Standards addressed:

ISTE-C Standard 2: Teaching, Learning, and Assessment

f. Coach teachers in and model incorporation of research-based best practices in instructional design when planning technology-enhanced learning experiences

Standard 6: Content Knowledge and Professional Growth

b.Engage in continuous learning to deepen professional knowledge, skills, and dispositions in organizational change and leadership, project management, and adult learning to improve professional practice

c. Regularly evaluate and reflect on their professional practice and dispositions to improve and strengthen their ability to effectively model and facilitate technology-enhanced learning experiences.

click on the image above to see the full pamphlet

While searching for resources, I came across an amazing pamphlet designed by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. It presents important information about building a school culture that supports teacher leadership. The pamphlet highlights important characteristics of a supportive school culture and informs teachers and school leaders about guiding questions and strategies that can help guide them. From the pamphlet, I have dissected the information that stood out the most to me.

All of these characteristics are equally important when building a supportive school culture around teacher leadership. The same characteristics become even more important when you fall into a teacher leadership or coaching role.  Just in my limited beginning coaching work, I strongly identify with the importance of building trust and establishing clear communication. It would be hard to complete successful working without first building these two important foundations. It is important that the entire school culture reflects these characteristics as well. The pamphlet asks the reader to pose these questions: Do you see these characteristics in your school? How do you know they are there? Are there other things you would add to this list? I found these questions really helped framed my mindset as I continue to compare the information to my role and what I currently see in my school.

I appreciate that this resource listed ways that an administrator can contribute positively to a supportive culture of teacher leadership. All of the above recommendations are important to set the tone for teachers. I particularly related to being approachable and flexible. I have worked with administrators that have been both. My mindset, growth and general well being flourished so much more when I felt that I could honestly approach and interact with my admin. Personally, when I am more comfortable in that respect taking new risks and initiative within my teaching feels more natural and supported.

Throughout this quarter, we have explored many of the points listed above. Risk taking, setting attainable goals and not being afraid to fail have been common themes that reoccured when we were doing our coaching work. I can identify most with the idea of taking small steps. It can be all too easy for someone to want to try everything all at once, but setting small goals and taking the steps to achieve them is more realistic and prevents feeling overwhelmed and burned out.

Overall, this resource has really helped me obtain a mindset that will help me evaluate and develop a strong school culture of teacher leadership at my school. Contributing to this culture can help me establish a stronger leadership role, while still remaining in the classroom.


Building a School Culture That Supports Teacher Leadership. (2015, April). Retrieved December 11, 2016, from

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