Stephanie Peat is a Primary School Teacher who now works as a Lead Specialist of Professional Learning & Leadership at Education Scotland. We discuss what Teacher Leadership means to Stephanie and its importance for all teachers. We look in depth at the Teacher Leadership programme provided by Education Scotland and what participants of the programme can bring back to their classrooms and schools.
Below are the questions I asked Stephanie but before you read them she wanted to add a few more notes which she was unable to get to in the interview but are of importance to the topic. They are as follows:
· An important aspect of teacher leadership is confidence and this can be found in knowing yourself, your learners and your practice well.
· Keep learning, seeking out opportunities and people to do this with. This doesn’t always have to be highly academic learning, there are lots of options such as: observing others’ practice, joining book groups or going to Pedagoo or Teachmeet style events.
· Readily engage in professional discussions and ask questions i.e. ‘why are we doing it this way?’
· Always listen to understand people’s point of view with an open mind. However be comfortable in the fact that, in the end, you may not agree and be confident to explain your professional rationale.
· Get creative and try out your ideas, but be mindful that if it doesn’t work out that you don’t need to panic; if we never give ourselves permission to make mistakes we never give ourselves permission to learn. Having resilience is another key feature of teacher leadership.
Could you tell us a little about you and how you came to work in the professional learning and leadership team?
We are here to talk Teacher Leadership, could you share your views on what that is?
How do teachers become leaders in their classroom and beyond?
What is involved in the teacher leadership programme of events?
Why should teachers sign up for the teacher leadership programme?
What is expected from participants?
Participants are encouraged to complete a reflective journal. Why is this an important feature?
Upon completion of the programme what will teachers have gained to bring back to their schools?
What have teachers said who have already completed the programme?
Where can teachers find more information about teacher leadership?
If they wanted to contact you to find out more about how do they do that?