An opportunity for teacher leadership growth exists between pre-service teachers (PSTs) and current teacher leaders (TLs). What I envision is a partnership between a college of education and a local K-12 school. Relationships between these institutions exist for observation and student teaching experiences, but not as frequently for experiences outside the classroom– or at least, not with a focus on teacher leadership. It would be powerful to connect a freshman PST with a TL for the purpose of observing ways in which the TL leads within and beyond the school, giving them both an opportunity to reflect on these efforts. This partnership would benefit the TL as well, for the process of sharing fresh ideas and reflecting on them broadens the TL’s perspectives.
When possible, the partnership between TL and PST would continue all 4 years of the PSTs education, perhaps culminating in a joint project involving the TL and PST.
By connecting the university with a local school, the entire class of PSTs can collaborate and consequently better understand the wider scope of teacher leadership within the school. With every new year of freshmen education students, the university would reach out to another school, thus building even greater connections within the surrounding community. As a result, both the university and K-12 schools can more effectively work together to involve community partnerships as well.