Collaborative Teacher Leadership: How Teachers Can Foster Equitable Schools

Collaborative Teacher Leadership: How Teachers Can Foster Equitable Schools, by Martin L. Krovetz and Gilberto Arriaza (Corwin Press, 216 pages, $29.95)

While Collaborative Teacher Leadership would be a benefit to most schools and school systems that seek ways to improve and institutionalize distributed leadership practices, it seems a particularly good fit for schools that are already incorporating the Common Principles. Since co-authors Martin Krovetz and Gilberto Arriaza also co-direct LEAD, a CES affiliate center located in San Jose, California, they come to the subject of teacher leadership from a very “CES” point of view. So you’re likely already acclimated to many of the ideas that the authors suggest; you know the terrain of collaborative professional development and community, critical friends practices, autonomy, mentoring, creating habits of mind that alter educational destinies, cycles of inquiry and collaborative action research, developing practices such as personalization that foster equity amidst diversity, and using data wisely. Collaborative Teacher Leadership demonstrates what can happen when all of these practices are applied in the quest for equitable, high performing, and caring schools.

Krovetz and Arriaza also teach at San Jose State University, focusing their attention on the Master’s in Collaborative Leadership program, which for nine years has worked with educators seeking to strengthen their skills at teacher leaders. Much of Collaborative Teacher Leadership is in these teachers’ words; the text features substantial excerpts from the reflective writing of over five dozen teacher leaders that demonstrates not only what practices constitute collaborative leadership in schools, but how it feels to change a school’s culture, one’s own role, and one’s relationships within the school community.

The book is gratifyingly well organized, with focusing prompts, reflective questions throughout the text, and essential questions and resources. This structure provides sturdy support for school-based leadership teams to do the work of building the capacity for collaborative leadership for equity. Krovetz and Arriaza preserve their role as teachers and guides, weaving the experiences told in teachers’ voices in a fabric of wisdom, research, and warm inspiration that makes Collaborative Teacher Leadership coherent even with its many voices and perspectives. They, and the many contributing educators, will make you feel that you can build the capacity to create the conditions for equitable, personalized, and powerful teaching and learning.