With an Introduction by Katherine Bassett
Have you ever imagined yourself as a teacher leader but weren't quite sure whether you really had—or could develop—the necessary skills? Have you wondered what the first steps toward becoming a teacher leader might be, what kinds of approaches work best, and how you could overcome the inevitable challenges that come with leading your colleagues on a journey toward improvement as professionals?
Authors Rebecca Mieliwocki (California and National Teacher of the Year for 2012) and Joseph Fatheree (Illinois Teacher of the Year for 2007) answer these questions and more in this engaging guide to becoming a successful teacher leader. Organized around five key tools—communication, collaboration, professional development, data, and advocacy—the book covers every aspect of what is involved in taking on leadership responsibilities. Firsthand accounts of the authors' experiences and those of more than a dozen other State Teachers of the Year describe the various pathways to leadership, strategies for success, and pitfalls to avoid. These teacher voices add powerful credibility to the research on teacher leadership and show how leaders can not only improve their schools and districts but also influence state and national policies and practices.
Both informative and inspiring, Adventures in Teacher Leadership invites others to expand their professional reach, empower the profession of teaching, and, ultimately, make a big difference in the lives of students everywhere.
This book is a copublication of ASCD and NNSTOY.
About the Authors:
Rebecca Mieliwocki has been an English teacher for more than 20 years and is the 2012 California and National Teacher of the Year. She is currently a teacher on special assignment with the Burbank Unified School District, where she coordinates secondary professional development and new teacher induction and oversees secondary-level instructional leadership teams. Rebecca holds a bachelor of arts in speech communication from California Polytechnic State University and a master's degree in secondary English curriculum and instruction from the California State University, Northridge. She is the 2005 California League of Middle Schools Educator of the Year for Southern California and a 2009 and 2013 PTA Honorary Service Award Recipient. She has contributed to the national conversation on education through appearances and writing for CBS This Morning, CNN, The Ellen Show, PBS television, KPCC public radio, the Los Angeles Times, the Sacramento Bee, and Phi Delta Kappa/Gallup Survey.
Joseph Fatheree is an award-winning author, educator, and filmmaker. He has received numerous educational accolades, including being named one of the Top 10 Teachers in the World in 2016 by the Varkey Foundation. He is the 2007 Illinois Teacher of the Year and the 2009 recipient of the National Education Association's National Award for Teaching Excellence. He was a founding board member of Advance Illinois, an independent education advocacy and policy organization, and served as the director of strategic projects for the National Network of State Teachers of the Year (NNSTOY). He continues to serve as a full-time teacher at Effingham High School in Effingham, Illinois, where he teaches innovation in a classroom filled with student imagination, creativity, and a desire to change the world.
Katherine Bassett is an education innovator and advocate who spent 26 years in the classroom as a middle school librarian and is New Jersey's 2000 State Teacher of the Year. She is currently the CEO of Tall Poppy, a consulting company founded to grow leaders through leadership research and professional learning, equity and bias awareness learning, and strengthened standards. She also recently cofounded RAD Science website, focused on assessing social and emotional learning skills. She is the former president and CEO of the National Network of State Teachers of the Year. She cofacilitated the development of the Model Code of Educator Ethics and has led the development of the Teacher Leadership Initiative for the National Education Association, the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, and the Center for Teacher Quality.
This book is a must-read for any teachers looking for real-life examples of leadership and inspiration from other educators. Broken down into easy-to-read sections, this book packs a big punch. I appreciate the stories from real-life, in-the-classroom-today, could-be-me teachers across the country and the successful ways they have found their place in school leadership.
Mieliwocki and Fatheree have a pleasing, conversational tone throughout that makes your feel like you are “talking” to trusted knowledgeable, colleagues. They balance sharing their personal expertise, loads of research, and the journeys of exemplary educators in each chapter. The stories vary and help highlight how concepts such as “Understanding and Using Research” played out in different school scenarios. Each chapter ends with a “lessons learned” section that illustrates how these regular classrooms teachers have done extraordinary things. It is not a step-by-step guide, though; this book provides more of a roadmap, leaving the rest up to you.
I appreciated this book most of all for it’s encouraging, positive message. Mieliwocki and Fatheree have done an outstanding job highlighting many great educators across the country. Reading their stories - including the ups and the downs, triumphs and struggles - was invigorating. -Mrs. B