Teachers find their voice

By Donna Augustine-Shaw and Jessica Lane
December 2020
Vol. 41, No. 6
Teacher retention is a continuing concern. One of the reasons teachers leave the profession is that they don’t feel valued or working to their potential. Developing teacher leadership is a positive way to improve job satisfaction, career development, and retention (Wixom, 2016). In addition, teacher leadership and influence in decision-making are positively associated with student achievement (Ingersoll et al., 2018). One promising approach to strengthen teacher leadership capacity is through leadership academies. At Kansas State University, we co-facilitate teacher leadership academies with seven local school districts. Educators identified by their districts engage in a two-year process designed to build teachers’ confidence and skills and help them explore the career continuum as they work toward a master’s in educational leadership. This model helps districts invest in

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Council of Chief State School Officers. (2008). Performance expectations and indicators for education leaders. CCSSO.

Goodwin, B. & Cameron, G. (2015). Balanced leadership for powerful learning. McRel.

Ingersoll, R., Sirinides, P., & Doughtery, P. (2018). Leadership matters: Teachers’ roles in school decision making and school performance. American Educator, 42(1), 13-17.

Lambert, L. (2003). Leadership capacity for lasting school improvement. ASCD.

Miller, T., Devin, M., & Shoop, R.J. (2007). Closing the leadership gap: How university partnerships shape effective school leaders. Corwin Press.

Wixom, M. (2016). Mitigating teacher shortages: Teacher leadership. Education Commission of the States.

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Donna Augustine-Shaw ( is associate professor in the Department of Educational Leadership.

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Jessica Lane ( is assistant professor of counselor education and supervision at Kansas State University.

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