Guide to developing teacher leaders

A Guide to Teacher Leadership Development

If you consider yourself a passionate classroom professional, now might be the right time to consider advancing your education so that you can fast-forward your career pursuits. And, investing in career development as a teacher can improve the lives of your students, as well.

The National Assessment of Educational Progress has been surveying students in reading and mathematics since the 1970s, and recently, NAEP uncovered an alarming trend in student achievement. For nine-year-olds surveyed in 2022, reading scores declined to levels not seen since 1990, and mathematics scores dropped for the first time in history. While this small slice of information hardly scratches the surface of the entire student experience, the disruptions (and long-term implications) of the COVID-19 pandemic on education are inarguable.

How can educators support students in rebounding their abilities to learn, achieve, and excel academically, socially, and mentally? Teacher leadership development must become a priority in education now, so that teachers can become better equipped to tackle new challenges – and expectations – presented by their jobs.

How does teacher leadership development promote positive student outcomes?

One of the best things you can do for your education career is to select a teaching leadership development program that is well-researched, with a curriculum responsive to the modern educational atmosphere. Goodwin University’s M.Ed in Teacher Leadership promotes the Universal Design for Learning (UDL). UDL is a concept that puts student learning variability at its core by offering students multiple access points to learning. A teacher who embraces UDL shapes content in myriad ways so that students can use a variety of methods of expression. We know that not all students are the same, nor do they learn the same way. UDL promotes acceptance and adaptability.

When UDL was created in 1984, its founders were inspired by new computer technology and its seemingly endless possibilities to help different types of students access learning. For example, Black, Hispanic, low-income, special needs, and English-language learners may require different kinds of learning methods. Developing teacher leaders means training educators to put students first by addressing not just the inherent diversity amongst their students, but also increasing the individuality of the educational methodology employed both inside the classroom and outside of it.

Why is a master’s in Teacher Leadership great for career development?

A master’s in Teacher Leadership helps teachers grow into leaders by enhancing their collaboration and communication skills. Strategies for connecting with parents and community members, boards, and senior administrators are necessary skills for any teacher hoping to increase their credibility. A teacher leader assists in evaluating their schools’ overall approach to education. They may make recommendations to adjust or overhaul policies, processes, assessments, instructional designs, or communication methods that are not serving the student population as well as they could be. Developing teacher leaders at the master’s level means diving into program curricula including:

  • Curriculum Theory
  • Effective Learning Environments
  • Social Foundations of Education
  • Teacher Leadership Theory and Practice

These classes (and others) offer candidates the opportunity to have advanced conversations with peers and professors and to reflect on how they can facilitate positive change in their current or future education center or district.

Goodwin University’s M.Ed program can be completed in as few as 15 months while studying part-time and online. Many students enrolled at Goodwin University benefit from this flexibility, taking advantage of continuing to work full-time while earning their master’s degree. Part-time classes also leave time for family care.


An M.Ed in Teacher Leadership, coupled with practice and experience, helps educators grow into empowered teacher leaders. Learn more!


What can teachers do to practice teacher leadership development?

Learning to become a teacher leader in theory is one thing. No matter where you are on your teacher leadership development journey, it’s never too early to start practicing! Obtaining a leadership goal requires undertaking a process of self-reflection and transformation. Teachers endeavoring to become leaders may begin by:

  • Asking for feedback from colleagues and decision-makers
  • Becoming a mentor and an example for less experienced teachers
  • Being honest when self-evaluating personal performance
  • Inviting critique
  • Listening more and speaking less
  • Setting goals to strengthen professional areas that could be improved upon

Teacher leaders may influence training priorities and modules for other educators.

Gaining trustworthy and valuable experience in leading and exhibiting leadership is not something that happens overnight. However, with an M.Ed in Teacher Leadership coupled with practice, any passionate educator can grow into an empowered leader.

To learn more about how Goodwin University’s M.Ed program can help you achieve your goals in teaching leadership development, visit us online or call 800-889-3282 to speak with a knowledgeable Goodwin representative today.