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Teacher Leader Stories

Teacher Leader Stories
The Power of Case Methods

Foreword by Barbara Miller

June 2011 | 208 pages | Corwin

Empower teacher leaders through the power of case study

Many teachers desire—but have a hard time obtaining—the training and support they need to lead others and expand their circle of influence. Like having a conversation with a successful teacher leader, this practical guide will help teachers strengthen their leadership skills, optimize student learning, and enhance the profession. Research confirms that the best way to become an effective teacher leader is through case study, and this book provides:

  • 16 compelling case studies that cover a broad range of leadership experiences
  • Explicit guidance on using case writing and case analysis to enrich teachers' professional learning
  • A facilitator's guide with discussion questions for each case study

The people and events in these cases are real, and these relatable stories cover a variety of leadership dilemmas from diverse settings. Written in compelling and straightforward language, Teacher Leader Stories is most beneficial to staff development professionals and aspiring teacher leaders seeking the rich, substantive professional learning experience they need to become successful.

Foreword by Barbara Miller
About the Authors
Who This Book Is For

Overview: How to Use Case Analysis and Writing

Organization of the Book

1. The Value of Case Methods: Promoting Reflection on the Precarious Real World of Leadership
Why Use Case Methods to Support Teacher Leaders?

How Do Case Methods Promote Teacher Leaders' Professional Growth?

Why Invest in Teacher Leaders' Growth?

The Efficacy of Case Writing: Findings From CSTP's Seminars

Framing the Leadership Dilemmas

2. Effective Approaches to Case Analysis and Case Writing
Facilitating Case Analysis

Learning to Write Cases - A Tool for Professional Growth

3. School-Level Leadership Dilemmas
How Hard Do I Push?

Navigating New Waters: The Voyage of a Teacher Leader on the Sea of Change

Out of the Closet . . . And Out the Door?

Overwhelmed and Underappreciated

Free Money?

When Do I Tell?

4. District-Level Leadership
Filling a Leadership Vacuum

Considering All Voices


Where Do I Stand? Leadership in a Culture of Us and Them

Preparing for the Future? Reliving the Past?

Is it Just a Crazy Dream?

5. State- and National-Level Leadership
Truth and Power

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

Hanging in the Balance


6. How to Use Cases to Support Teacher Leadership: Case-by-Case Facilitation Guides
Facilitation Guide for How Hard Do I Push?

Facilitation Guide for Navigating New Waters

Facilitation Guide for Out of the Closet . . . And out the Door?

Facilitation Guide for Overwhelmed and Underappreciated

Facilitation Guide for Free Money?

Facilitation Guide for When Do I Tell?

Facilitation Guide for Filling a Leadership Vacuum

Facilitation Guide for Considering All Voices

Facilitation Guide for Crossroads

Facilitation Guide for Where Do I Stand? Leadership in a Culture of Us and Them

Facilitation Guide for Preparing for the Future? Reliving the Past?

Facilitation Guide for Is It Just a Crazy Dream?

Facilitation Guide for Truth and Power

Facilitation Guide for One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

Facilitation Guide for Hanging in the Balance

Facilitation Guide for Transitions

Summing Up

Going Forward: From Words to Actions

Resource A. Recommended Books, Websites, and Readings

Resource B. Just What Is Teacher Leadership?

Resource C. CSTP Framework and Tools

Resource D. Case-Writing Seminar Part 1: Sample Agenda

Resource E. Case-Writing Seminar Part 2: Sample Agenda


"Teaching and learning go hand in hand.  We do not learn to teach, we learn from our teaching.  This book offers a coherent, constructivist approach to do just that. It makes the daily life of classrooms accessible for thoughtful exploration and powerful learning."

Laura Lipton, Co-Director
MiraVia, LLC, Sherman, CT

"Teacher Leader Stories provides a charming and provocative collection of case studies for practicing and future educational leaders. This book provides helpful protocols, strategies, models, criteria, and procedures for employing case studies as a method of developing leadership skills."

Arthur Costa, Professor Emeritus
California State University, Sacramento

"The use of case studies in this book provides a safe experience and an excellent professional development opportunity. Teacher Leader Stories is a much-needed new tool for fostering teacher leadership."

Carol Kuhl Barry, Head of Middle School and Former Area Superintendent
The Bishop’s School, La Jolla and San Diego City Schools, CA

"This book is an excellent resource for teachers in leadership roles and the administrators who support them. It provides an honest and thought-provoking account of the challenges and dilemmas encountered by teacher leaders. This resource will be essential for professional developers and administrators who prepare teacher leaders to carry out their critical roles in schools."

Susan Mundry, Deputy Director
Learning Innovations at WestEd, Woburn, MA

"Teacher Leader Stories is a great gift to those who believe that no serious educational reform will take hold until teachers have a genuine voice in determining what matters. It's a book for veteran teacher leaders, those who aspire to leadership in schools and classrooms, and administrators eager to tap the expertise of the accomplished teachers they work with. This is a book that doesn't shy away from difficult issues."

Nancy Flanagan, Education Consultant
Education Week Magazine, Cedar, MI

"The cases presented in this book have an honesty that portrays the real complexity of teaching and leading. The dilemmas in each case include a diverse cast of characters, each with perspectives that cannot been easily labeled as 'right' or 'wrong'. That setting challenges the reader to rethink their own position and appreciate positions different than their own."

Carolyn Landel, Chief Program Officer
Washington STEM, Seattle, WA

"This articulate and compelling book provides a powerful way for educators - especially teacher leaders and staff developers - to move their practice to the next level.  The author brilliantly scaffold their reader's engagement in the material, from analyzing others' cases to writing, sharing, and reflecting on their own."

Ellen Moir, Founder & CEO
New Teacher Center, Santa Cruz, CA
Key features

(1) Provides explicit guidance on using case writing and case analysis to enrich professional learning for teacher leaders. 

Includes 16 richly-detailed cases for analysis, organized according to school-, district-, and state/federal-level applications.

(3) Addresses critical issues that affect teacher leaders in a variety of contexts. 

Sample Materials & Chapters



For instructors

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ISBN: 9781452238807

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