Teach to Lead

Secretary Duncan announced that, over the next year, he and NBPTS President Ron Thorpe will co-convene a new initiative, Teach to Lead, to foster ambitious commitments on authentic opportunities for teachers to take up leadership roles without leaving the classroom.

The goal is to ensure that when important decisions are being made about the work teachers do, they are there to help set the direction for their classrooms, schools, the profession, and, ultimately, make sure students have the best opportunities to learn.

Teach to Lead will entail a series of gatherings engaging teachers, principals, district leaders, Chief State School Officers, and teacher groups.  Participants will commit to acting on the steps necessary to create more opportunities for teacher leadership in the field.  The Secretary and Thorpe will report back on the commitments and activities from this diverse group at next year’s NBPTS meeting.

Secretary Duncan, in considering the need for Teach to Lead, remarked, “I’ve heard from many teachers who are tired of the heartbreaking choice between serving their students and serving their profession.”  

The work of Teach to Lead was begun back in 2012 with the Blueprint for RESPECT campaign. In 2012 ED released the Blueprint for RESPECT, which was informed by input from thousands of educators and calls for strengthening and elevating the teaching profession in the United States. Importantly, rather than envisioning this teacher leadership as requiring teachers to leave their classrooms, RESPECT calls for career pathways so teachers can lead from their classrooms.

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