2017 Retaining Effective Teachers Policy
The state should support teachers to take on leadership opportunities that allow them to continue teaching. This goal was new in 2017.
State Support for Teacher Leadership: Louisiana offers a Teacher Leaders program, which allows participants to "provide a positive influence on their school and support for their peers, playing a pivotal role in leading the effort during times of transition. This program is designed to "create and implement collaboration between fellow teachers to reflect on student learning results, access and adjust planning tools to meet student needs ... and share instructional best practices to help fellow teachers improve."
Louisiana also offers an optional Teacher Leader endorsement, which gives teachers the opportunity to fill school site leadership roles such as serving as a school curriculum coordinator, chairperson or content teacher; serving as the school improvement team chairperson; serving as the lead teacher in developing and scheduling a special activity at the school site; or serving as the lead teacher in the school's preparation for a technical assistance visit.
Selection Criteria: Louisiana's teacher leaders are nominated by their districts based on leadership ability. Specific guidance is not offered by the state.
Incentives and Supports: Louisiana's teacher leaders receive additional training and professional development opportunities, as well as the chance to gather with other participants at the state's annual Teacher Leaders Summit.
Louisiana has also committed funds to provide every mentor teacher with a $1,000 stipend for three years, beginning with the 2016-2017 school year.
Teacher Leader Collaboration Materials: https://www.louisianabelieves.com/resources/library/louisiana-teacher-leaders Bulletin 746, section 711
Base criteria for leadership roles on effectiveness and content knowledge.
Louisiana should ensure that teachers selected for leadership roles have a record of effectiveness in the classroom and bring substantial teaching experience and subject-matter knowledge.
Offer additional incentives or supports to teachers who assume leadership roles.
Although Louisiana is on the right track in offering professional development opportunities to its teacher leaders—and stipends to its mentor teachers—the state is encouraged to strengthen its policy and offer either financial incentives or more substantive nonmonetary supports to all teachers who take on leadership roles. Louisiana should also ensure that principals provide time and space for the tasks of both teacher of record and teacher leadership roles, which may be accomplished, for example, through a reduction of class loads.
Louisiana was helpful in providing facts that enhanced this analysis.
9C: Leadership Opportunities
Research from the past four decades widely supports leadership roles for teachers. Teachers aspire to engage in leadership and professional growth opportunities, and desire more participation in decisions about instruction. Research suggests teacher leaders should be involved in policy and decision-making at some level.
Research has not found a relationship between teacher leadership and student achievement; however, the presence of teacher leadership opportunities in schools has benefits for individual teacher leaders, as well as the school-wide teacher community. Teacher leaders feel more confident, empowered, and professionally satisfied; they also feel that leadership roles allowed them to grow professionally. Teachers in schools with teacher leadership opportunities report that such opportunities contribute to greater teacher empowerment, professional community, and collective responsibility. For their school community, teachers in leadership roles have the capacity to increase teacher collaboration, spread best practices, encourage teacher professional learning, and focus on content-specific issues. Teacher leaders support professional learning communities by conducting formal professional development or assisting other teachers in classrooms. By concurrently serving as teachers, teacher leaders are likely to be more effective in both roles.
Teacher leaders selected for these roles should bring substantial teaching experience and knowledge of the curriculum, as well as effective instruction. Insofar as strong teacher leadership systems should ensure that teacher leaders also remain in the classroom as teachers, principals should provide time and space for the tasks of both teacher of record and teacher leadership roles, such as reducing class loads.