School systems that provide their highest-performing teachers with leadership roles can elevate the profession and increase the impact of top talent. Pursuing teacher leadership allows schools systems to increase support for teachers and students, advance systemic improvement efforts, and improve the recruitment and retention of top performers. Developing teacher leadership systems requires us to rethink evaluation, compensation, distributed leadership, and even what we see as the role of teachers and the way we organize instruction.
This paper outlines a clear process for establishing shared purpose for teacher leadership and career pathways, for designing and implementing systems and structures that support this work, and for learning from teacher leadership efforts. The paper also includes profiles of school systems leading the effort to create teacher leadership and career pathways.