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ERIC Number: EJ1020092
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Oct
Pages: 8
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1073-5836
A Tale of Three Teachers
Chapman, Sue; Leonard, Allison; Burciaga, Sandra; Jernigan, Theresa
Teaching Children Mathematics, v20 n3 p190-197 Oct 2013
The improvement of mathematics teaching and learning is a complicated undertaking. It relies on teacher understanding of math curriculum in addition to awareness of how children acquire mathematics concepts. It also depends on teachers' abilities to translate these understandings into learning tasks and instructional routines, as well as the questions, prompts, and feedback they provide to students. Improving math education requires active involvement by teachers. When teachers actively engage in efforts to improve teaching and learning, whether in a single classroom or across an entire school, their efforts constitute works of leadership. Teacher leadership, therefore, is the act of working to improve instruction to increase student learning. Teacher leadership takes place daily in a variety of settings. Informal teacher leadership occurs as teachers quietly experiment with their teaching practice and share their discoveries with colleagues. Formal teacher leadership provides focused support for improving mathematics education at the teacher, team, or school level. This article tells the stories of three teacher leaders in a single school: Theresa, an informal teacher leader, is a first-grade teacher dedicated to helping students build a strong foundation of number concepts and a sense of confidence about their mathematical abilities. Sandra is the team leader of her second-grade team and supports teacher-initiated professional learning across eight classrooms, including her own. Her story provides an example of semi-formal teacher leadership. Allison is a formal teacher leader; she serves as math coach with full-time responsibility for improving instruction in preK-grade 5 classrooms. Theresa's, Sandra's, and Allison's stories offer a snapshot of leadership by teachers in each of these arenas. They also show how the presence of these three types of teacher leadership build a learning-focused school culture and strengthen the school's capacity to continually improve math education.
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. 1906 Association Drive, Reston, VA 20191-1502. Tel: 800-235-7566; Tel: 703-620-3702; Fax: 703-476-2970; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Journal Articles
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A