What is the truth about teacher leadership? Is it an exciting opportunity to become a change agent, or, is it just another managerial manifestation of the status quo? Randy Swift and Pedro Dones III are two teacher leaders from New York who have had very different experiences in the role. On the episode, we explore their perspectives and how they have each brought their unique purpose to life as teacher leaders.

  • Randy and Pedro describe their current roles as teacher leaders. (4:40)
  • The graduated levels of teacher leadership in NYC include model teachers, peer collaborative teachers, and master teachers. (7:20)
  • Randy’s experience as a teacher leader within his school. (12:00)
  • Unpacking the purpose of teacher leadership. (17:00)
  • Modeling what it means to be a reflective and responsive practitioner. (27:50)
  • Teacher leadership as a career path to maintain engagement. (34:20)
  • Maintaining a shared vision through observations, feedback, and presence. (39:00)
  • Coaching peers to solve problems by coming up with their own solutions. (50:15)
  • The purpose of education. (58:10)

Significant Quotes:

“It very quickly transformed into, “Well those are her pets; those are her lackeys.” Not everyone, but a lot of folks, viewed the teacher leaders as that.”

Randy Swift

“Our ability to gain buy-in and build equity and trust with our peers is our number one goal.”

Pedro Dones III