Identifying Competencies for Teacher Leader Roles

Submitted on March 29, 2021 by:
Matt Finster

In 2020, the West Virginia Legislature passed House Bill 4804, directing the West Virginia Department of Education to assist county school boards with the design and implementation of a teacher leadership (TL) framework. As local WV boards of education and school districts develop their teacher leadership frameworks they will need to identify and define critical knowledge and skills for TL. While local staff may develop their own performance competencies, there are several TL frameworks that could be adopted or used to inform the process. Several noteworthy frameworks or models include:

  • Teacher Leader Model Standards developed by the Teacher Leader Exploratory Consortium. The Teacher Leader Model Standards consist of seven domains describing the many dimensions of teacher leadership.
  • Teacher leadership that strengthens professional practice by Charlotte Danielson. The book discusses what teacher leadership is, how teacher leadership is demonstrated, and how to promote and develop teacher leadership.  
  • Teacher Leadership Skills Framework by Center for Strengthening the Teaching Profession. This document details the five categories of knowledge, skills, and dispositions that teacher leaders need to be effective in a variety of roles.
  • The Teacher Leadership Competencies developed by the partners in the Teacher leadership Initiative, composed of the National Education Association, the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, and the Center for Teaching Quality. This model brings together three intertwined pathways that define the ways in which teachers can expand their impact in education: instructional leadership, policy leadership, and association leadership

To help identify key TL performance competencies, staff should consider which performance competencies are needed to support instructional strategies needed to realize the district’s vision and goals. The TL performance competencies should also align with the teacher leader positions and major tasks. To support this decision process, the Guide to creating teacher leader positions provides 10 key decisions for designing teacher leader roles.

Once staff identify TL performance competencies and create corresponding teacher leader positions, they can begin to think of ways that talent management policies and practices can be modified to focus on the teacher leadership performance competencies. For example, in what ways does the selection process assess candidates on the teacher leadership performance competencies, how are the competencies assessed in the evaluation process, how are the competencies developed further in professional development, and how are teacher leaders compensated for additional roles and tasks?  

For more information and support, contact the Region 5 Comprehensive Center.