Research proves that children learn best from each other. Likewise, teachers learn best from each other as well. We all know that as teachers, when we teach a concept, we personally learn that same concept all over again. We internalize it, and learn it better as a result of teaching it! So why not teach each other? This encourages positive growth for all involved parties.
We have all had those moments in the day-in day-out throes of teaching – those “ah ha!” moments when some new or different tactic worked. When faced with an epiphany such as this, share it with others! We want all children to have the best chance to learn and the most benefit from learning possible, not just our class(es), right? After all, we are all in this together, striving to promote student success and the greater good as a team! As a teacher-leader or mentor, communicate with colleagues in various ways in order to inform, collaborate, and network on best practices to enhance student learning.
Teacher-leaders and mentors are constantly learning, growing, and sharing. They are never the same at the end of the year as they were at the beginning. They are in a “morphic” state as a direct result of their own personal love of learning.
How else can teacher-leaders and mentors be described? They have an extensive understanding of pedagogical knowledge, the curriculum, and the needs of students. They are constantly seeking to add to and enrich the curriculum; guiding others in that endeavor. They continually facilitate students’ engagement in learning, higher-order thinking skills, and the application of learning in current, relevant ways. They guide others to reflect on their own practice and progress.
Teacher role models such as this are charged with the task of encouraging others to set challenging goals for themselves, and tackle new ways to present challenging content. They lead others in the effective use of data to inform instructional decisions. Teacher-leaders continually demonstrate expertise and lead others to determine and develop a variety of assessment strategies and instruments that are valid and appropriate for the content and student population. They are constantly engaging in professional growth, and the application of the methods and skills learned. This contributes to the development of others as well as the well-being of the school community of learners.
Being a teacher-leader or mentor encourages success for all, including students and teachers. This leadership role fosters our collective goal of creating and constructing lifelong learners, which ultimately extends itself to a global community of learners. Serving as a teacher-leader and mentor to others in these capacities merits truly exemplary status.