Letter to the Superintendent

Nevertheless, in spite of the acknowledged importance of teacher leadership, little if any is known about the pathways that teachers may follow and how they can be supported to develop as leaders. Therefore, understanding the efforts necessary to support teacher leaders is necessary. Levin (40) argues that, it is not only important to know what teachers do as leaders, but also gain understanding and in-depth descriptions of how leadership skills are developed. According to Donaldson (28), action research refers to a professional inquiry into a given situation. As the name suggests, action research is concerned with undertaking certain professional actions and its sole purpose is to understand and improve teachers’ leadership actions. In this letter, action research in education is therefore grounded on the working lives of teachers and how they experience their profession. The following are the identified action research projects that facilitate growth of teachers’ leadership skills necessary to effect school reforms. Needs assessment The entire school reform process begins with identifying needs. Through use of rubrics and other resources, needs assessment will help in comparing leadership practices and reform programs of our school with best practices of the successful schools. The sole purpose of needs assessment is to lay out a comprehensive plan to improve student learning and performance. Teacher leadership is the process in which teachers collectively or individually influences principals, colleagues and other members of the school community to upgrade learning and teaching practices with the sole aim of increasing student learning and achievement. In addition, leadership is about action that transforms learning and teaching hence tying the school and the community together to advance quality of life and social stability (Froyd and Ohland 154). There are numerous ways in which teachers can actively engage as leaders, including mentoring new teachers, development and distributing of curriculum materials, coordinating professional development, participating in decision making among others. Strategic planning In response to the assessed leadership needs, the school will come up with a comprehensive strategic plan for developing teachers’ leadership skills. Ingram, Wolfe and Lieberman (480) observed that such strategic plans would have consensus on priority goals. Further, each priority goal will be aligned to school reform goals to facilitate the desired school reforms. Such strategic planning process will help the leadership teams to focus on priority goals that can help in capacity building for implementation of the entire school reform. Attending training workshops Teachers will undergo training workshops to hone their leadership skills as innovators, advocates and stewards. During the training period, teachers will have an in-depth review of leadership-related literature to try to understand the vast scope and the available avenues of teacher leadership and to find out potential solutions to different barriers. Developing customized goals and action plans Based on their interests, teachers will be expected to develop action plans on how to practice acquired leadership skills and the possible anticipated challenges likely to be faced. Enroll for relevant courses To support growth of leadership skills, teachers will enroll for graduate-level courses relevant to their lines of teaching. They will also