how to be a good teacher leader

How to Become a Leader in Teaching and Education

Becoming a leader in teaching takes a blend of classroom experience, an interest in educational policy and management, and an advanced understanding of applied learning theories. Excellent handling of a classroom as a teacher is only one part of this role! Reaching for the next step in your career in education usually means taking on more responsibilities and challenges. To become a leader in education, consider earning a Master’s in Education (with a focus in Teacher Leadership). This will provide you with the knowledge and skills to fully unleash your potential in this field.

So, where do you start? How do you become a leader in teaching and education, and enroll in an M.Ed. program? Follow these steps.

Step 1: Prepare your mission statement.

Your first step towards growing your leadership capabilities in education is to collect proof of your accomplishments so far. Like any transition period, one should pause to take stock and prepare to make decisions. What will help you the most on your journey? What new topics do you hope to learn about? What makes you stand out as a teacher? How will you enhance your existing strengths? Use these questions to prepare for an interview with the M.Ed. program’s director or faculty.

To apply for an M.Ed. in Teacher Leadership program, other application materials to gather include:

  • A transcript showing your bachelor’s degree completion and at least a cumulative GPA of 3.0
  • A professional resume
  • Immunization proof
  • Recommendations attesting to your teaching experience

Another tool for preparing to go back to school is Goodwin University’s M.Ed. “Get Started” Guide. This resource is chock-full of tips for preparing your admissions package and first-hand accounts from teacher leaders who feel they got a great start, and excellent value, out of the M.Ed. program.


Download your very own M.Ed. Get Started Guide today!


Step 2: Analyze logistics of your master’s degree.

Preparing to enter a master’s degree program also means considering logistics, such as when you’ll have time for class, and how much you will spend on the investment.

Once enrolled in Goodwin University’s M.Ed. in Teacher Leadership, a world of career-oriented classes will become available. This flexible, 30-credit program is available entirely online and can be completed in as few as 15 months while studying part-time. There is no reason to leave your current job because classes are offered in synchronous and asynchronous formats, allowing you to mold coursework into your life and make no sacrifices.

The National Center for Education Statistics found that for 25- to 34-year-olds who worked full-time and year-round, the more education they earned was consistent with higher median earnings. This being said, you can further improve your earning potential by continuing to work full-time, while increasing your educational achievements. In 2020, the difference between a worker with a bachelor’s degree and one with a master’s degree or higher, was 17%. This is a significant salary increase for the affordable investment of Goodwin University M.Ed. tuition.

Step 3: Hit the books!

There are many fulfilling teacher leadership careers available to M.Ed. graduates that will make you proud. The curriculum is designed around the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) framework, which champions an adaptive teaching method that acknowledges the beauty of learning variability. Teacher and educational leaders who incorporate UDL into their school or districts’ programs see benefits such as:

  • Supporting the needs of diverse students.
  • Honoring students’ varied and individual experiences.
  • Helping students become active in the classroom and community dialogue.
  • Acting inclusively and encouraging all students to relate to content and engage with others.
  • Improving evaluation scales to be more individualized.
  • Developing critical and empathetic thinkers in the classroom.
  • Providing students with the skills to increase their self-awareness and abilities for self-reflection.

UDL frameworks make a marked impact on students who have specific accessibility needs but also offer all students the exciting flexibility to explore content through all their senses. These opportunities might awaken new and preferred routes for learning and retention that students may not have otherwise dabbled in. Courses such as Curriculum Theory, Effective Learning Environments, and Teacher Leadership: Theory and Practice offer advanced learning to not only improve student outcomes in the classroom, but to implement instructional improvements across schools, districts, and beyond.

Step 4: Apply your new knowledge of teacher leadership, and make change happen.

Teacher leaders take on the responsibility of being not just professionals in their classrooms, but also pioneers in the educational community. As the Brookings Institute reports, visionary education leaders facilitate holistic attention for students, wrapping them with the care of a network of community institutions including local businesses and nonprofits, institutions of higher education, government agencies, and even museums and faith-based centers. Health, food security, after-school care, safety, transportation, and enrichment, are all concerns teacher leaders should consider if they desire to transform the culture of education and children’s future in their community.

Step 5: Graduate and get out there to make a difference.

Armed with your degree in Teacher Leadership, plus lifetime access to the support offered by career services, you’re sure to find your leadership niche in education.

To learn more about Goodwin University’s advantages, call 860-889-3282 to speak with an admissions representative, or request more information online right away!