Two ideas that I find pervasive and problematic in the conversation about teacher leadership: 1. The goal of teacher leadership is NOT to make principals' jobs easier. 2. Valuing teacher leadership means valuing teachers.
Teacher leadership is the new hot topic in ed policy circles. It's in the blogosphere, it's supported by groups across the edu-political landscape, and Arne Duncan frequently talks about it. I have gotten at least 30 emails since August with the phrase "teacher leadership" in either the subject or body. But what are all these people talking about? What will all this talk mean for my career and the careers of my colleagues?
Try something. See that it fails. Re-evaluate. Try something new. Repeat until successful. That's problem solving: whether in a maze, math class, science experiment, or relationship. The power of the "Maze Moments" language is that it explicitly teaches students to anticipate being stuck from time to time in the problem solving process. Naming and normalizing this experience supports all students' ability to think critically and creatively in math.
My experience has confirmed what Thurgood Marshall helped to prove in 1954 when he argued Brown v. Board: Separate is inherently unequal. The existence of segregated schools in the year 2015 is immoral and unconstitutional.
I refuse to speak about the place I teach and learn as "the trenches." To do so would frame this situation as a hardship to endure rather than a problem to be solved.