Part 1: What do Tom Brady, dancing sharks, and teacher leadership have in common?

The following post is from Megan Allen, an NBCT and teacherpreneur at the Center for Teaching Quality (CTQ). It was first posted on CTQ’s blog and is reposted with permission. This is post one of a three-part blog series.

What do Tom Brady, dancing sharks, and teacher leadership have in common? I had the opportunity to keynote the Teach to Lead summit in Boston this past weekend and discuss that very question! I’m beginning to post the summary of the key points below with part one.

-Students learn when teachers lead.-

I love the serendipitous moments in life, where events intersect and seem to fall into place. And those moments always seem to happen at strange times. I was sitting with some friends last Sunday watching the Super Bowl, and somewhere in between snacking on celery and nibbling on a hot wing I had this “aha” moment (perhaps it was inspired by my frosty beverage). I whipped out my computer and started furiously typing notes, the edugeek that I am! I think this happens to us a lot as teachers, since we see and hear almost everything in our world through the lens of an educator. So I started making all these connections between the Super Bowl and teacher leadership (because that makes sense right?!?!!). Below is part one of the leadership lessons we can learn from the Super Bowl.

  1. We must do our research and build on momentum. We must know the players, the issues, the field. We must know the facts to help us advocate for our work and our students. Before the Patriots and the Seahawks walked onto the field, they had watched and analyzed videos, read playbooks, studied and rehearsed, discussed and debriefed…they had done their research. We must do the same thing in education–especially in education and teacher leadership. We must know the ins and outs of policies, we must understand the players and their motivations, and most importantly, this must all be grounded in the foundation of our work…the classroom. We must be involved in conversations that help us expand our understanding and we must listen to different perspectives, pushing our own thinking and the thinking of others at the same time. And we should use this research to help us advocate, create, and collaborate to create better and stronger systems in public education.

Then the idea of momentum. During the second half of the game, there was tremendous momentum built. Crescendoing excitement. The game intensified and you could feel it was time for something big to happen. That is happening right in public education.Momentum IS building for teacher leadership.  The moment is now! And don’t just take it from me, but let’s see what the research says:


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From Holland, Eckert, & Allen, 2014

And that’s just the beginning. To me, one of the most astouding tidbits researched by teacher and blogger Scott Goldstein is this:


All I can say to that last one is, “eeeek!”

Let’s spread the research and spread the LOVE for students, teachers, and teacher leadership.

Share the facts above, showing how we #loveteaching and #loveteacherleadership!


Read Part 2 on leadership lessons from the Super Bowl >>



Author Bio

Megan M. Allen is the 2010 Florida Department of Education/Macy’s Teacher of the Year and one of four finalists for the 2010 National Teacher of the Year. She is a National Board Certified Teacher who has worked in several roles in educator, including 7 years as an elementary school and special education teacher in Title 1 schools, the educator-in-residence at the University of Central Florida, a teacherpreneur in a hybrid role with the Center for Teaching Quality, and a visiting instructor in Psychology and Education at Mount Holyoke College.

She is currently working as a program developer and visiting instructor for Mount Holyoke College’s Professional and Graduate Education Office, where she facilitates graduate students in learning about technology methods, science and math methods, and the changing role of a teacher. Follow her on twitter @Redhdteacher.

2015-02-18T20:07:49+00:00 February 13th, 2015|