Top 10 Learning Needs For Teacher Leaders

By Learning Forward
December 2014
Our rapidly changing world and the increasingly complex demands placed on schools because of that change has led to an increasing awareness that the school principal alone cannot provide all of the leadership necessary for school development. More and more school districts are asking teachers to share leadership responsibilities with school administrators. At the same time, even teacher leaders who are outstanding classroom teachers and committed to assisting their colleagues and renewing their schools still need their own professional learning in order to reach their leadership potential. Based on studies in which we have asked teacher leaders about their professional learning needs (Gordon, 2011; Gordon, Jacobs, & Solis, 2013; Jacobs, Gordon, & Solis, 2013) and our own work with teacher leaders, we can make two

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Stephen P. Gordon, Jennifer Jacobs, and Rachel Solis

Stephen P. Gordon ( is a professor of education and community leadership at Texas State University. Jennifer Jacobs ( is an assistant professor in the Department of Childhood Education and Literacy Studies, University of South Florida. Rachel Solis ( is an assistant head at Rawson Saunders School, Austin, Texas, and a student in the school improvement Ph.D. program, Texas State University.


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Gordon, S.P. (Ed.). (2008). Collaborative action research: Developing professional learning communities. New York, NY: Teachers College Press.

Gordon, S.P. (2011, November). Teacher leaders in 1990 and 2011: Their perceptions of attributes of effective teacher leaders as well as problems, support, and benefits associated with teacher leadership. Paper presented at the annual convention of the University Council of Educational Administration, Pittsburgh, PA.

Gordon, S.P., Jacobs, J., & Solis, R. (2013, April-May). Critical issues in teacher leadership: Phase I of a national study. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, San Francisco, CA.

Hall, G.E. & Hord, S.M. (2006). Implementing change: Patterns, principles, and potholes. Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.

Jacobs, J., Gordon, S.P., & Solis, R. (2013, October). Critical issues in teacher leadership: A national look at teacher leader perceptions. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Council of Professors of Instructional Supervision, University Park, PA.

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Stiegelbauer, S.M. (2008). The dimensions of learning: From plans to action. In S.P. Gordon (Ed.), Collaborative action research: Developing professional learning communities (pp. 112-133). New York, NY: Teachers College Press.

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Learning Forward is the only professional association devoted exclusively to those who work in educator professional development. We help our members plan, implement, and measure high-quality professional learning so they can achieve success with their systems, schools, and students.

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