Teacher Leadership

Teacher Leadership

If we talk about educational leadership, in general it will focus on the role and duties of a school principal. Understandings and perceptions like this are understandable because most of the research and literature that discusses educational leadership tends to talk about school principal leadership. While research and literature that examines teacher leadership specifically seems to be relatively limited.

So, what is Teacher Leadership ? York-Barr and Duke ( The Institute for Educational Leadership's, 2008) put forward a formula for teacher leadership that is in line with the changing role of the teacher in the context of current educational developments, that:

“Teacher leadership is the process by which teachers, individually or collectively, influence their colleagues, principals, and other members of the school communities to improve teaching and learning practices with the aim of increased student learning and achievement. Such team leadership work involves three intentional development foci: individual development, collaboration or team development, and organizational development.”

From the above understanding it appears that teacher leadership is basically a process to influence other people which contains a series of certain actions or behaviors towards the individual it influences. Teacher leadership is not only limited to the teacher's role in the classroom context when interacting with students but also extends to the teacher's role in interacting with the principal and colleagues, while still referring to the same ultimate goal, namely an increase in student learning processes and outcomes.

Teacher leadership focuses on 3 dimensions of development, namely: (1) individual development; (2) team development; and (3) organizational development.The individual development dimension is the main dimension related to the role and duties of the teacher in utilizing time in class with students. Here the teacher is required to show leadership skills in helping students to develop all their potential, in line with the stages and tasks of their development. Through his leadership skills, it is hoped that he can produce various learning innovations, so that in turn it can create an increase in the quality of student achievement.
The team development dimension refers to collaborative efforts to assist colleagues in exploring and trying new ideas in order to improve the quality of learning, through mentoring, coaching, observation, discussion, and providing constructive feedback. This second dimension relates to efforts to develop the teaching profession.
Meanwhile, the organizational dimension refers to the teacher's role in supporting education policies and programs in schools (the education office), supporting school principal leadership ( administrative leadership ) in implementing education reform in schools and part of the role of teachers in efforts to maintain school sustainability .

The three dimensions above provide an overview of: (1) the role of the teacher in leading his students, (2) the role of the teacher in leading his colleagues; and (3) the teacher's role in leading the wider education community.

In America, the idea of ​​teacher leadership has been going on for a long time, which is divided into 3 (three) waves.The first wave , teacher leadership is confined within the formal organizational hierarchy and only deals with teaching functions, under the strict control of the "teacher superiors". Here, the teacher is only seen as implementing the superior's decision.
The second wave , teacher leadership has been separated from conventional organizational hierarchies. Here, there has been a separation between leadership and the teaching function, namely by forming a kind of formal curriculum development team. Even so, the teacher's leadership is still under the control of the curriculum development team. The teacher's task is to implement the materials prepared by the curriculum development team. The approach used in the second wave is often referred to as " remote control of teachers ".
The third wave, the concept of teacher leadership has integrated teaching with non-formal leadership. Teacher leadership is seen as a process by providing broad opportunities for teachers to express their leadership capabilities. The conceptualization of teacher leadership is built on the basis of professionalism and partnership. (Abstracted from James S. Pounder, 2006).

The trend of teacher leadership above, within certain limits, does not seem much different from what is happening in Indonesia. The application of the concept of School-Based Quality Improvement Management (MPMBS), which was rolled out since the beginning of the reform period, followed by the movement for teacher professionalization which is currently being intensively echoed, seems to be an inseparable part of the shift in the concept and meaning of teacher leadership in Indonesia.

In fact, there are many leadership models and styles that teachers can apply in realizing their leadership. Merideth (2000) offers a model of teacher leadership with what is called REACH , an acronym for:Risk -Taking . Teachers try to find challenges and create new processes.
Effectiveness . _ Teachers try to do their best, care about the growth and development of their profession and work with heart.
A autonomy . The teacher displays initiative, has independent and responsible thinking.
Collegiality . _ Teachers build their community skills and have interactive communication skills.
Honor . _ Teachers can show integrity, honesty, and maintain professional ethics.

In addition, teachers can also apply the Transformational Leadership style as initiated by Bass, with characteristics known as the 4 I's, namely: idealized influence, inspirational motivation, intellectual stimulation, and individual consideration .Idealized influence . The teacher is an ideal figure who can be used as an example, can be trusted, respected and able to make the best decisions for the benefit of improving the quality of learning.
Inspirational motivation : teachers can motivate all students and colleagues to have a commitment to the vision of the organization and support team spirit in achieving educational goals in schools.
Intellectual Stimulation : teachers can foster creativity and innovation by developing critical thinking and problem solving to make learning a better direction.
Individual consideration : teachers can act as trainers and advisors, and provide constructive feedback for students and colleagues.

Bryman (1992) refers to transformational leadership as the new leadership , while Sarros and Butchatsky (1996) refer to it as breakthrough leadership . Called a breakthrough because this kind of leader has the ability to bring enormous changes to individuals and organizations by: reinventing) the character of individuals in the organization or organizational improvement, starting the process of creating innovation, reviewing the structure, processes and values ​​of the organization to make it better and more relevant, in ways that are interesting and challenging for all parties involved, and try to realize organizational goals that were previously considered impossible to implement. Breakthrough leaders understand the importance of major, fundamental changes in their lives and work in achieving the results they desire. ( Dwi Ari Wibawa, 2013 )

From various studies conducted, transformational leadership has been proven to have an impact on innovation and creativity. Transformational leadership also has a positive influence on subordinate effort and satisfaction and can increase ethical behavior. (James S. Pounder, 2006).

On the other hand, Charles C. Manz & Henry P. Sims Jr. (Martani Huseini, 2010) presented a leadership model known as Superleadership. The Superleadership model is very much needed in information-based organizations with very fast changes like today.

The basic idea of ​​superleadership is: (1) directing individuals to become " self leaders "; (2) directing the team to be “ self-leading ”: and (3) suggesting ideas for developing a “ self-leadership ” culture throughout the organization.

Superleadership believes that a successful leader is when he can create good leaders . A Superleader leader tries to guide others to lead himself and helps his followers to develop their " self-leadership " abilities to make maximum contributions to the organization. A Superleader Leader will multiply his strength through the strength of others and encourage his followers to have their own initiative, sense of responsibility, self-confidence, setting their own goals, thinking positively and solving their own problems.

Superleader leaders always encourage their followers to carry out their responsibilities rather than give orders and give confidence that their followers need information and knowledge to practice their " self leadership ".

One of the biggest obstacles to growing teacher leadership is the dominance of the "top-down" leadership model in most schools. Teachers are still often positioned as subordinates who must submit and obey their superiors in an immaculate manner.

Therefore, to foster teacher leadership requires:Empowerment and encouragement to teachers to become leaders and develop their leadership skills.
Provision of time and opportunities for teachers to work on their leadership, both for the benefit of professional development, collaborative work, joint planning, and building a teacher network.

In this context, of course, support from all parties is needed, especially from the school principal to be willing to share power and authority, without having to worry about losing their identity of authority. Principals must have the belief that every teacher basically has leadership potential, and if given the opportunity to express and actualize their leadership potential, they can emerge as great leaders, which can be used to further strengthen the existence of the school as well as complement the administrative leadership that is their responsibility. .

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