I now see Teacher Leaders as blurring the lines between administration and teachers for the good of the students. Blurring lines, in this case, is a good thing as it leads to better and more effective communication between administration and the teachers who have to generate results. Teacher Leaders need and should bepart of the recruiting and hiring process for new staff. They should also be an integral part of any quality improvement initiatives at a school. A better fit for the John Wayne analogy, was his role as Sergeant Stryker in The Sands of Iwo Jima. He trained the troops, oversaw their promotions within the ranks, and would never ask them to do anything he wouldn't do himself. Stryker was tough, fair, and he earned the trust of his mean and they would follow him into battle. Stryker always communicated with the Colonels and Generals above him. In turn, they respected him and his views and the overall outcomes were more effective. Sergeant Stryker dies in battle, but he had trained other soldiers to take his place, and they soldiered on.
In society, professionals such as doctors, lawyers and businessmen provide avenues for leadership in their practice and communities. One would hope that good leadership is about raising the social good for as many in our society. Teachers really are leaders in the shaping of young minds so that they may grow-up to be reflective and positive contributors to society. Perhaps this seems like a Utopian view of leadership, but I have seen good things happen when good people apply themselves to seemingly hopeless tasks.
Improving Education from Within