Teacher Leadership Program
The Teacher Leadership Program is a professional development program and leadership pipeline that includes training, coaching, mentors, motivation and inspiration. The ultimate goal is to improve instructional delivery, thus making a positive impact on student academic performance. The Teacher Leadership Program identifies and develops full-time teachers who’ve chosen to take on leadership positions to serve as mentors and guides to their peers. These positions of additional responsibility within the schools are Culture Broker, Content Leader, Master Teacher, and Instructional Coach.
All Teacher Leadership Program participants receive training and support from dedicated staff at the Gestalt charter management office; a customized schedule that provides more planning time to meet, observe, and coach their peers; and a stipend for their participation in the program. Teachers in the leadership pipeline also receive professional development and coursework focused on the following core categories:
- School Culture
- Teaching and Learning
- Coaching Adult Learners
- Operations and Systems
- Personal Leadership Development
The Teacher Leadership Pipeline moves teachers from Culture Broker to Content Leader, to Master Teacher, and then to Instructional Coach. All teacher leadership positions (except Instructional Coach) are full-time teaching positions with additional stipends for their participation in the program. These teachers receive a customized schedule that will provide more planning time to meet, observe, co-teach, and coach their peers.
Culture Brokers are teachers who have demonstrated expertise with the Gestalt school culture. Responsibilities are twofold. First, they meet often with teachers during the first weeks of school, then regular check-ins throughout the year, to help ensure all teachers have successfully implemented school culture expectations for their students. Second, Culture Brokers help boost teacher morale and motivation, serving a combination ambassador/cheerleader role to build a positive work environment with team building and relationship building.
Content Leaders are teachers with 3-4 years experience who are experts in their subject areas. There is one Content Leader per school per subject; currently the core subjects of math and reading have Content Leaders, and as the program expands the subjects will include Social Studies, Science, and Art. They provide training and leadership by facilitating a monthly teacher-led professional development group, and observing classes and providing feedback.
Master Teachers have demonstrated 3+ consecutive years of success as measured by student growth (TVAAS assessment) and Tennessee Educator Acceleration Model (TEAM) evaluations. They provide daily one-to-one mentoring and coaching to novice teachers and under-performing teachers. In addition, they help to develop curriculum maps, teaching resources, and assessments.
An Instructional Coach is an experienced teacher who supports one school or a region of schools. An Instructional Coach works one-on-one and in small groups with teachers providing guidance, training, and other resources as needed. She focuses on research-based strategies for engaging students and improving their learning. An Instructional Coach is responsible for providing and/or arranging professional development activities for all teachers in a school or network-wide.