New initiative drives discussions about improving instruction, increasing retention and accelerating student learning through formal teacher leader roles
Washington, D.C.—The National Institute for Excellence in Teaching (NIET) today announced the launch of The Teach Factor, an initiative that reveals scalable solutions around a factor pivotal to the profession—teacher leadership. The Teach Factor explores formal teacher leadership structures and their impact on teacher and student success as observed through two decades of practice in American schools, illustrated through stories from experienced educators.
Through The Teach Factor, NIET is working with educators across the nation to define the most effective models of teacher leadership in order to develop a formal structure that schools, districts and states can implement to maximize the impact of teacher leaders. The Teach Factor Report, Unleashing Teacher Leadership – How Formal Teacher Leader Roles Can Improve Instruction, was released in conjunction with the announcement today. This is the first of a series of studies, trainings and other tools that will be unveiled this year.
"The effective teacher in the classroom is both the starting point and the engine of an excellent and meaningful education," said NIET Chairman and Founder Lowell Milken. "That is because excellent teachers are not only the single most important in-school factor in student learning. They embody the key factor in improving the instructional practices and strengthening the skills of their peers. Teacher leaders can be the generators of continuous improvement."
According to the latest MetLife Survey of the American Teacher, 51 percent of teachers are interested in additional roles and responsibilities, but 69 percent of them do not want to become a principal. The Teach Factor will address new pathways for educators that provide them with additional roles and responsibilities with commensurate compensation while keeping them connected to students.
Experienced educators—Teach Factor Fellows—will share stories of success and resources on the campaign website at teachfactor.niet.org, and other educators are encouraged to join in the conversation on the site or via social media using #TeachFactor. Content collected will be used to develop further resources to benefit teacher leaders.
Joni Readout, a master teacher in Central Decatur Community School District in Des Moines, Iowa, rose through the ranks in her district, serving as a career teacher, then a mentor teacher and finally a master teacher. "Teacher leadership is all about growth for educators and for students," said Readout. "As a teacher leader, having a formal leadership role provides me with a structure and clear expectations that allow me to have an immediate impact on student achievement and other teachers."
"This campaign will take a deeper look at pivotal topics to improving educator effectiveness, and we are especially excited to promote our 2018 topic of teacher leadership. NIET has been at the forefront of defining career paths for educators for two decades. Our staff and partner educators are well-positioned to further advance this work," said NIET CEO Gary Stark. Stark is part of a team embarking on a nationwide listening tour to discover inspiring stories, experiences, best practices and methods of instructional success from top teacher leaders.
"NIET's work training 30,000 teacher leaders has proven teachers can drive improvements when they are given the responsibility, training and authority to lead," said NIET Co-President and Chief Strategy Officer Patrice Pujol, whose successful implementation of a districtwide formal teacher leadership program is included in the Teach Factor Report.
More information and Teach Factor resources including the Teach Factor Report, Teach Factor Fellow videos, action steps for educators and more are available by following NIETteach on social media and at teachfactor.niet.org.
Based on the knowledge and experience gained from two decades of on-the-ground implementation with TAP, combined with the growing demand for proven reforms in teacher and principal effectiveness, NIET supports schools, districts, universities and states with educator evaluation training, teacher leader certification modules linked to learning platforms and human capital management systems as well as tools and resources for educator preparation.