Reading, MA has instituted a number of teacher leadership initiatives from the district and school level. The superintendent has initiated a distributive leadership model by engaging with teacher leaders in conversations about how they can best lead the college- and career-ready standards charge, as well as how leadership opportunities can empower teachers to take ownership of the work. One example is that each Spring they host a Blueprint for Educational Excellence institute for all Reading educators as well as many educators from other districts (somewhere between 550-750 participants). Now they are hoping to expand upon the concepts already in place and to increase opportunities for teacher leadership throughout their district in order to get even more input and to include many more educators by holding RESPECT type roundtables.
Additionally, the district is about to post nearly 20 new curriculum leader positions, who will help facilitate the important work they have ahead. District leadership has stated that once those positions have been appointed, they will have roundtable discussion with all the teacher leaders in the district to coordinate the ongoing work.
At the school level, teachers explicitly credit principals for giving them needed collaboration time and the ability to “run the show”. One principal had a sign-up sheet outside of her office that teachers could use to either ask for an opportunity to visit another teacher or to volunteer to give their own time to help struggling teachers; the principal covered classes herself.