Online Teacher Leadership
Common Core Standards. Shrinking budgets. Pressure to demonstrate results.
Just about everyone agrees that education in the United States needs to improve but confusion abounds as to how to navigate the complex demands schools face. Fortunately, many teachers who are on the front lines have the drive and determination to take control and effect changes amid this shifting landscape.
There is a growing trend to equip teachers to lead others. A relatively new term, “teacher leaders” are not principals. Rather, they work as department chairs, curriculum coaches, demonstration teachers or professional development specialists.
School administrators appreciate this support and the National Center for Education Statistics forecasts a strong employment outlook for teacher leaders. To encourage this valuable skill set, the state of Delaware now requires 40 percent of teachers’ professional development to be in the area of teacher leadership.
Using highly interactive virtual learning mediums, PK-12 teachers from around the country can learn to engage in collaborative professional development, plan for and enact school-wide change and share classroom wisdom with a wider audience.
They gain leadership skills and develop new understandings of the Common Core Standards, enabling them to assume influential positions within their schools.
“The courses are designed so that our students can make meaningful connections between assignments and their real-life teaching contexts,” said Elizabeth Soslau, assistant professor and program coordinator.
Convenient, flexible, effective
UD’s master of education degree in teacher leadership is one of the few online master’s degrees that include this exceptional mix of components.
- A fully online, 30-credit program that can be completed in two years;
- Curriculum directly aligned to the National Teacher Leadership Standards; and
- Coursework that supports and increases understanding of Common Core State Standards, a nation-wide initiative in education reform.
The curriculum was designed by faculty within UD’s School of Education Graduate Program, a program consistently ranked as one of “America’s Best Graduate Schools” by U.S. News and World Report.
These full-time faculty members have extensive clinical and research experience and use their knowledge to create cutting-edge learning opportunities for their students — in leadership, coaching, data assessment and common core instruction — ensuring students are prepared to solve real-world problems.
Each week’s lesson module provides students the opportunity to engage in discussion with classmates, watch videos, complete interactive activities, ask questions and respond to professors’ queries.
“Implementing my new teacher leadership skills has deepened my knowledge of instructional pedagogy, said Cathy Schreiber, an M.Ed. student and a teacher in Delaware’s Capitol School District. “I have developed effective strategies and techniques to motivate students and teachers, improved the structuring and facilitating of solution-oriented reflective conversations, and increased my ability to apply quality feedback in coaching conversations with both students and teachers.”
Courses in the online program are offered in seven-week sessions. Thirty credits (10 courses) are required to complete the degree, which can be finished in two years.
Candidates can apply for the program at any time during the year. Applications are accepted for five start dates — two in the fall, two in the spring and one in the summer.