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Since 1988 the Teacher Leadership Network has joined both beginning and experienced teachers in a spirit of collegiality. Teacher leader requirements focus on facilitating change for the improvement of schools while cultivating within a school's faculty, informal standards of excellence in teaching, with a strong emphasis on student outcomes. With the support of the Temple Center, teacher leaders meet regularly to share exemplary teaching ideas and explore new pedagogical concepts, with the intent of improving the outcomes of all their students. Local district and school administrators provide the opportunity for teachers to be released from classroom responsibilities to meet and help each other.
The current organization of the Network places a Regional Coordinator in each of three sub-regions within the Temple Center's service area -- north, central, and south. This process ensures that teacher leaders will have participatory involvement and direct communication with each other in an empowered process with the aim of improving student outcomes.
The three Regional Coordinators and a Temple liaison meet regularly to discuss a comprehensive set of goals for the entire Teacher Leadership Network. These have included participation in an activity to define the responsibilities of the teacher leader and design professional development opportunities for teacher leaders such as retreats, conferences, academies and workshops.
The Regional Coordinators also organize and conduct regular meetings for the teacher leaders within their respective sub-regions, rotating the site among their participating schools. At these meetings, teacher leaders have an opportunity to share ideas regarding programs, teaching strategies and innovative approaches to solving problems and issues confronting other career and technical educators in their region. Discussion at these meetings revolves around improving student outcomes identified by each of the teacher leaders as important in their schools. Other current issues facing career & technical educators are covered, including strategic planning; peer coaching; work-based learning programs; assessment practices; integration of academic and career & technical education and the development of the small learning community approach to implement integration strategies.