Strengths-based Leadership Team

Discussion Guide

This report explains how the Mathematics and Science Leadership Academy uses a strengths-based approach to leadership and provides a framework for you to use in the design of your teacher-powered school.

The Mathematics and Science Leadership Academy (MSLA) in Denver, CO is a teacher-powered school with the tagline: “Where everyone is a learner, teacher and leader.”

While this intent is easily understood, its execution can be challenging. Traditional concepts of leadership rely on the notion that one person is “in charge” and everyone else follows. More and more evidence is emerging to indicate that a different type of leadership is needed--and more effective--especially in schools. This new form of leadership aligns with the notion that everyone is a leader. It also focuses on capitalizing on the unique strengths and assets that each individual brings to a task or organization. MSLA is structured to do exactly that.

This report includes an explanation of how the teacher leaders at MSLA use a strengths-based approach to identify which teachers should be on what teams. It provides tools and resources for you to begin creating your own strengths-based approach as you design your school, as well as discussion questions that can help guide conversations with your leadership team.

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