teacher leadership

Joint Statement in Support of the Teacher Leader Endorsement

Following over a year of research and collaborative work, Heidi Olson, a special education teacher at Hopewell Valley Regional Public Schools and chair of the Teacher Leader Endorsement Advisory Board (TLEAB), delivered the board’s report to the Office of the Commissioner of Education and State Board of Education. The TLEAB report provides recommendations for the establishment of the teacher leader endorsement.

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teacher leader march 2017 report cover As the needs of 21st century learners and educators continue to transform, it is imperative that schools build capacity in their teachers. Teacher leaders are educators who have teaching responsibilities in a P-12 setting and take on leadership roles outside of their classrooms.

Teacher leadership creates opportunities for distributed, school- and district-wide leadership; it allows teachers a myriad of opportunities to develop their own practice and the practices of their colleagues. Moreover, teacher leadership has been shown to positively impact job satisfaction, a major influencer on retention, while also building a pipeline within the profession.

These impacts not only benefit teacher leaders, but also build a sense of professionalism that can attract others to the field.5 Most importantly, the positive influences of teacher leadership, such as increasing educator skillsets and retention, have been shown to lead to better outcomes for students.

With the passage of the Teacher Leader Endorsement law (N.J.S.A. 18A:26-2.18)
teachers in New Jersey can add a Teacher Leader Endorsement to their instructional certificate. This has the potential to further grow teacher leadership across the state. The law requires that an eleven-member advisory board, representing an array of stakeholders, provide recommendations related to eligibility requirements and program of study; in no later than five years, the Teacher Leader Endorsement Advisory Board (TLEAB) will have the opportunity to evaluate programmatic and other data collected and make recommendations regarding non-supervisory roles and responsibilities for which a teacher leader endorsement should be required. The following report is intended to give New Jersey’s Commissioner of Education and State Board of Education the Teacher Leader Endorsement Advisory Board’s recommendations for obtaining the Teacher Leader Endorsement.

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