The state should support teachers to take on leadership opportunities that allow them to continue teaching.
State Support for Teacher Leadership: South Carolina offers a peer mentoring program as part of its ADEPT evaluation system. Teachers can apply to be mentors and go through training.
South Carolina references a program called Foundations in School Leadership on its website. "This is a program designed to provide leadership skills and competencies to teachers serving in leadership positions." However, no additional information is offered by the state.
South Carolina is also piloting a Collective Leadership Initiative to look at innovative ways to get teachers and administrators to lead together. The state is currently asking for up to 10 schools to participate.
Selection Criteria: To be recommended as a mentor, teachers must hold a valid South Carolina professional educator certificate, a minimum of one year of successful teaching experience, be trained in the Expanded ADEPT Support and Evaluation System and has a recommendation of a school administrator. In addition to other selection criteria, mentors must be selected based on the following:
Induction and Mentoring Guidelines:https://ed.sc.gov/educators/educator-effectiveness/induction-and-mentoring/2017-induction-and-mentoring-guidelines/ Foundations in School Leadership: http://ed.sc.gov/educators/school-and-district-administrators/programs-for-teacher-leaders/foundations-in-school-leadership-fsl/ Collective Leadership Initiative: https://ed.sc.gov/educators/school-and-district-administrators/collective-leadership-initiative/
Base criteria for leadership roles on effectiveness and content knowledge.
South Carolina 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.
South Carolina was helpful in providing NCTQ with facts necessary for this analysis and this analysis was updated subsequent to the state's review. South Carolina noted that it provides stipends for National Board Certification in the form of a $7,500 salary supplement be paid to public school classroom teachers, including special schools, who are certified by the State Board of Education and the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards if they completed the application process before July 1, 2010 and a $5,000 salary supplement if they completed the application process after July 1, 2010 as long as they maintain their national board certification. The state also indicated that FY 2017-18 will be the final year for eligible teachers to submit initial application and fee for the incentive program and be eligible to receive the state supplement when they achieve certification.
South Carolina indicated that Foundations in School Leadership is a leadership development cohort for teachers leaders run through the Office of Educator Effectiveness and Leadership Development. The state added that the Collective Leadership Initiative is a leadership development cohort for teams of teachers and school leaders committed to planning and executing school improvement and nurturing teacher leadership together.
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.