Teacher Leadership Creates Career Pathways in Indiana

January 31, 2024

Teacher Leadership Creates Career Pathways in Indiana

In Indiana, the impact of the teacher leadership and capacity-building work led by NIET and our district partners has created teacher career pathways and leadership structures. State policies and funding are increasingly supporting this work, and NIET’s approach to teacher leadership was highlighted this summer in a state report on the impact of career pathways.

The report found teachers are increasingly looking for leadership opportunities, and that teacher leadership is improving the quality of classroom teaching and learning. For example, Muncie Community Schools used the Indiana Career Ladder grant to establish instructionally focused teacher leadership roles that are now a core part of the district improvement plan. Master teachers help teachers think through new activities and ways to differentiate learning to support each student, and individual coaching provided by teacher leaders is critical in helping experienced and new teachers take their practice to the next level.

George Washington High School in Indianapolis Public Schools received state funding to strengthen school leadership teams. By elevating teachers into leadership positions that are squarely focused on improving classroom instruction across their building, George Washington High School is seeing an impact on teacher practices and student engagement. 

New teacher preparation and retention 

Supporting new teachers to be more effective early in their careers is at the heart of an innovative partnership making a difference in schools in the Indianapolis metro area. The Marian Promise residency program is a collaborative effort among multiple high-need school districts, the Klipsch Educators College at Marian University, and NIET. The partnership addresses critical needs in the districts and state through the development of a residency and induction system for the recruitment, preparation, and continued development of highly effective new teachers. Marian Promise is helping Indiana districts put in place a system of support for new teachers to increase their effectiveness and retention, thereby positively impacting the achievement of the students they serve. 

Elevating educator voices 

As teacher and school leaders across Indiana develop their instructional leadership skills, they become experts on the best practices and strategies that impact their fellow educators and their students. To recognize and share this expertise, NIET created the Indiana Educator Advisory Board (IN EAB). The IN EAB includes leaders from across the state — ranging from teacher and school leaders to district administrators. This year, the IN EAB provided a networking opportunity for members and served as a source of information about how teacher leadership and career pathways can be designed and supported to have the greatest impact on classroom teaching and student learning. Sharing best practices and collaborating to address challenges with colleagues from across the state have helped our partners to build their own expertise, expand their networks, and provide a coordinated source of feedback on state policy initiatives.

About the 2023 NIET Annual Report

The 2023 NIET Annual Report highlights key milestones and achievements over the past year as we have supported partners around the country in building the capacity of educators and unleashing the power of teacher leadership. Read about NIET’s partnerships across the country and how these partnerships are leading to significant impacts on student achievement in the full report here.