Why teacher leadership is the way to go

Teacher leadership will boost the quality of education. Courtesy.

I think it is safe to say that Rwanda will meet its development agenda by 2020, given the fact that the primary players in the country’s development effort now have the missing piece of the puzzle.

Still uplifted by the news about the new teacher training programme that is significant to education quality and professional development in Rwanda, this programme, if executed well, will boost competence in Rwanda.

This initiative will without a doubt bring about significant changes in Rwanda’s education sector — teaching in particular.

In 2018, I wrote an article about the need for leadership training for teachers.  It’s great that the Ministry of Education has seen the relevance, thus redefining the progressive leadership that Rwanda has.

It is said time and again that the progress of any nation is based mainly on the potency of its human resource; Rwanda is, therefore, ready to champion its development agenda by empowering the primary players in this dream goal.

This idea will be an asset to quality education, and will nurture a competent community whose contribution towards national development is guaranteed.

In fact, renowned scholars in their work have talked about the significance of teacher leadership to the quality of education.

They mention that teacher leadership will boost performance and explain that once schools run short of straight leadership, presentation will be compromised.

It is obvious that teachers are the leaders of their classrooms, or any learning environment, regardless of the level, age of students or even subject. A teacher must remain at the helm of classroom management.

Much as we are obliged to use ideas of modern educationists and their engaged approach to learning, it is only efficient when it is under clear and direct supervision of teachers who are fully equipped with leadership skills to manage a class of future intellectuals.

Moreover, in education mind-set, reinforcement is a highly emphasised factor in the process of teaching and learning, it can be negative or positive for both teachers and the students. Over the years, this mantra has been executed differently by various institutions of learning, but all are geared towards the same objective of cultivating quality among graduates.

What model should be used for effective implementation?

Understanding who a teacher is in this regard is very important for us to be able to define a proper model to use for the implementation of the teacher leadership project in Rwanda. Teachers provide clear direction, instructions, guidance as well as motivation, to learners in their respective classes.

Many teachers lack the leadership training that can inspire their students to climb the ladder of success and accept a place in society, perhaps this is why a few students aspire to become teachers.

It is, therefore, important that teachers get equipped with leadership skills by examining how renowned teacher-leaders think and act, and exploring how best teachers can develop the right mindset, as more schools will benefit from having true leaders in the classroom.

Various studies on teacher leadership show that there are ‘distinguished educators’ — they are not like the average teacher. Much as their actions are greatly influenced by their respective tasks and the school environment, teacher-leaders empower other teachers and students through trust, self-reliance, accessibility, identifying obstacles, and dealing with a variety of responsibilities.

Eventually, such skills work to benefit students and teachers alike by facilitating learning.

Many times administrators are credited for the success of the school, but we must highlight that these administrators do not spend as much time in the school environment, so teachers in this case carry all responsibilities regarding helping students excel.

On average, a school administrator is at an institution for three to four years, while many teachers remain in the profession for decades, and many stick to a single school.

Therefore, teachers develop the school culture. When more teachers develop a leadership mindset, the school is bound to succeed.

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