In their article, “Ten Roles for Teacher Leaders,” Cindy Harrison and Joellen Killion describe ten ways that teachers lead in their schools. While the list includes some obvious roles, such as “resource provider” and “data coach,” the following role stood out as interesting and worthy of some extra attention:

9. Catalyst for Change

Teacher leaders can also be catalysts for change, visionaries who are “never content with the status quo but rather always looking for a better way” (Larner, 2004, p. 32). Teachers who take on the catalyst role feel secure in their own work and have a strong commitment to continual improvement. They pose questions to generate analysis of student learning.

Harrison and Killion point out an important, often informal role that teacher leaders serve: they challenge the status quo and seek improvement to drive student learning. Although their article is specifically addressing roles for teacher leaders, serving as a catalyst for change is an important role for leaders at all levels of a school or school system.

Take a few minutes today to reflect on how often you serve as a catalyst for change. Or, better yet, take a few minutes to push those around you to see beyond the status quo.

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