Building Leadership Capacity (Preview)

Part 1: Intro & Objectives

The job of leading a school system is extremely demanding. One way to improve leadership is to enhance the leadership skills of others. Additionally, successful leaders also continually focus on ways to improve their own leadership skills.This module focuses on ways leaders can improve their own skills and help others assume leadership roles.

After completing this lesson you will be able to:

  1. Understand ways to develop teacher leaders
  1. Become somewhat familiar about the research on effective teacher leadership
  1. Explore ways to use digital technology to develop Personal Learning Networks (PLNs)

Part 2: Demonstration Videos

Before you watch this video, you may want to consider behavior that are important for a school leader to demonstrate in order to build leadership capacity with teachers.

  • How can a leader encourage input and teacher leadership but still be very involved with the conversation?
  • What does this leader do correctly?
  • What could she improve?

Now that you have watched the video, you probably have some feelings and opinions about the school leaders behavior. Below are some questions and statements to consider and discuss and even write down before talking to a colleague about them:

  1. What is the atmosphere at the meeting?
  1. How does the physical enviroment impact the meeting?
  1. What is the behavior of the teachers in the meeting?
  1. What are the behaviors of the leader?
  1. How does the leader help guide the conversation at times?
  1. Do you have any recommendations on how this meeting could have been more successful?
  1. How would you lead a data analysis meeting with teachers?

This video highlights a school leader’s behavior in a data analysis meeting. A group of teachers review data with their school leader. The leader encourages conversation, but also gently nudges the conversation in a certain direction at times. The leader demonstrates her own instructional leadership, but also is clearly building leadership capacity with her team.

Part 3: Resources & Activities


Due to copyright law, several readings cannot be hosted on this site. However, we encourage you to ask for assistance locating materials from your library media specialist. Many library services are freely available to educators.

What does the research tell us about teacher leadership?
This short brief is a meta-analysis that analyzes teacher leadership research from the past twenty years. The authors highlight key components and present a conceptual framework of teacher leadership.

The Center for Comprehensive School Reform and Improvement (2005). What does the research tell us about teacher leadership? Retrieved from

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Becoming a Chief Learning Officer (CLO)

This article focuses on helping principals become the “Chief Learning Officer” at their school. The authors focuses on ideas that focus on change and improvement by engaging faculty and staff members in conversations about teaching and learning.

Note: Requires subscription to NASSP.

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The school principal as leader: Guiding schools to better teaching and learning
This report connects examples of best practice and research related to teacher leadership. The authors stress the importance of building capacity by sharing leadership responsibilities with others.

The Wallace Foundation (2013). The school principal as leader: Guiding schools to better teaching and learning. Retrieved from

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21st-Century PLNs for school leaders
This is a blog post that focuses on three ways school leaders can use technology to create PLNs. These three simple recommendations can help school leaders stay connected with other leaders around the world.

Couros, G. (2012, July 6). 21st-Century PLNs for school leaders [Blog Post]. Retrieved from

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Part 4: Review & Reflect

Please address the following questions and issues below. If you have difficulty, go back and review the lesson. With all of the responsibilities placed on school leaders, it is extremely difficult and ineffective to micromanage all things in a school.

  1. What steps would you take to develop teacher leaders in your school?
  1. How would you engage faculty and staff members in improving teaching and learning in your school
  1. As a school leader, you need to ensure that you continue to grow professionally. What are some examples of ways that you can use technology to create your own professional learning network?

Find examples other than those provided of school leaders who have used technology to create their own PLN.

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