Teacher Leaders

Athletes have them; so do singers…

Whether it is in the arts, athletics, business, or education, coaches help enhance skills, build expertise, and nurture great performances.  Research shows that the greatest impact on student learning in school is the classroom teacher.  The West Des Moines Community Schools teacher leaders empower classroom teachers to enhance their professional practice.  In the end, this means helping every child in the classroom achieve even more.

What do teachers leaders do?

A teacher leader offers many things. He is a collaborative partner, a colleague, and a listener. She is a researcher and a resource. He provides support for professional learning. They model teaching strategies for teachers to observe. They collaborate with teachers to identify goals. They share research-based teaching practices with teachers. They ask questions and explore data with teachers. They are not a scoring judge or formal evaluator. In short, they coach; empowering teachers to build their practice so they, in turn, can help your child reach even greater academic success.

These teacher leaders provide support in a variety of ways*, including:

  • Assist in lesson planning
  • Boost student interaction
  • Develop learning targets
  • Enhance transition time
  • Establish physical environments that create positive and productive learning
  • Examine class structure and time management
  • Form small groups based on data
  • Identify, define, and teach concepts
  • Increase opportunities for student response
  • Increase time-on-task
  • Plan and pace units and lessons
  • Reinforce appropriate student behavior

*Not an all-inclusive list

The West Des Moines Community Schools was one of 39 school districts selected to be the first in the state to launch a teacher leadership system in the 2014-15 school year.

The Teacher Leadership & Compensation system offers our teachers the opportunity to take on leadership roles in the area of instruction and receive compensation for the increased responsibilities. The leadership roles include:

  • Building Leadership Team
  • Curriculum Leads
  • Demonstration Teachers/Coordinator
  • District Leadership Team
  • Instructional Coaches
  • Learning Supports/Coordinator/Family School Engagement Coordinator
  • Mentor Teachers/Coordinator
  • MTSS Coordinator
  • New Tech Professional Development Coach
  • Online Learning Coordinator
  • Thought Partner