Teachers—Stop Waiting, and Start Calling the Shots

Commentary

In this commentary, Kim Farris-Berg describes teacher leaders who found ways to create their own schools—and encourages other teachers to do the same.

Teachers: have you been inspired by the work you hear that teachers are doing in teacher-led schools? Maybe you've been saying to yourself, "I wish I could work in a place like that." Don't forget--you already can!

The vast majority of the teachers who are currently designing and running schools didn't wait for anyone "higher up" to say, "Teachers, we now grant you the opportunity to call the shots." No! They took advantage of an existing opening to seize authority (even if it wasn't explicitly meant for them and even if it wasn't their preferred path). Or, they asked for and negotiated authority (even though it wasn't being offered outright).

These teachers are explorers and pioneers in their field. They have awakened to and taken advantage of new opportunities, despite the risks, and they are willing to accept accountability for the results of their decisions. Like all pioneers, they are doing arduous work to prepare the path and infrastructure for those who have thus far been reluctant to pursue similar possibilities.

If you think you might be a pioneer, maybe it's time to step into the frontier!

Read more in this blog post on the Education Week "Of, By, For" blog.