From Teacher to Teacher Leader: A Conceptual Model
Conceptions of teacher leadership are trending away from formal titles and positions to embrace a more informal, integrated approach. Moreover, there is growing agreement among scholars that teacher leadership is a stance, or way of thinking and being, rather than a set of behaviors. As a result, understanding how teachers progress from teacher to teacher leader remains unclear. Building on research findings from a previously-conducted study, this article offers a visual model conceptualizing eight teachers' progression from teacher to teacher leader, including the factors and conditions that influenced their progress and their varying self-perceptions as teachers and as leaders. Four developmental stages of teacher leader self-perception are explored: teacher leader, developing teacher leader, situational teacher leader, and classroom teacher leader. Findings of the study indicate that teacher leadership stance precedes the actions of teacher leadership; development of teacher leader self-perception may take longer.