There are so many more things that come along as you become a teacher leader than what’s in your job description. I had a very interesting week that may me think of this fact. I wear many hats in my position: Blended Learning Specialist, Science Instructional Coach and CBL (Challenge Based Learning) Specialist. These are my titles this year. Oh, and I teach a section of 7th grade Science!
This week I temporarily filled some other shoes as a PE teacher! We had a need for coverage for PE so the PE team could have a UbD (Understanding by Design) planning day. Another teacher leader and myself volunteered to help so that the PE team didn’t have to be split for their planning session. Why didn’t they just get subs, you say? Well, they did. However, you can’t just have four subs in PE when you have to remember about safety and procedures. We needed some experienced staff present too. The perk is I got to wear sweats! I got a little sun and got to cheer on learners as they jogged the straights and walked the curves!
I’m also pulled for standardized testing because when I’m pulled multiple classes are not disturbed. I’m also pulled in emergencies when sickness surprises in the morning until a sub can be contacted, etc. But, you see with leadership comes the extras that you may not be prepared for in the beginning. However, if you are adaptable and flexible, it will all balance out. If not, you will not last. You’ll either burnout or decide you don’t like this leadership thing.
Sacrifice is a big part of the role as well. When others see you as a leader, they will look to you for advice and help — a wonderful thing! You’ll find yourself flinching at times because you really need to get that quote for a purchase order so your department may dissect frogs or you’re way behind in grading and this time was set aside for that purpose, or you promised to design a menu board or a Blenspace for a grade level or fellow teacher. But, you’ll happily go and you’ll help because that is how you are made. Whether you are a natural leader or you have a specific title, you’ll need flexibility and the ability to sacrifice.
Like teaching is the hardest job you’ll ever love, teacher leading is challenging but oh, so rewarding.