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Question of the week: What role should teacher-leaders have in schools?

Denver is expanding its teacher leadership program, which means some teachers will have both classroom and administrative responsibilities.

Teachers and principals told us that teacher-leaders offer support to and play a bridging role between administrators and teachers.

Mandy Israel, a high school history teacher who is in her second year as a teacher-leader said this:

“It’s not always easy to go to the principal or assistant principals, so I like that I’ve been able to take on that role. I can really stand up for what teachers need so students can achieve and be successful.”


Mixing those two jobs can be difficult, said Shelley Zion, the director of the Center for Advancing Practice, Education, and Research at the University of Colorado Denver’s education school. In general, she said, “when you try to link a coaching and mentoring role with evaluation, you often don’t get authentic results.”

That brings us to our question of the week: How might schools benefit from this split role, and conversely, what are the biggest risks of the teacher-leader model?

Each week, we ask readers a question about a timely or timeless question about their experiences in education. Readers who want to share their opinions should leave a response in the comment section below, tweet us @ChalkbeatCO, send an email, or leave a comment on our Facebook wall. Every Friday we round up the responses. Here’s last week’s.

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