A new paper to inform the 2021 International Summit on the Teaching Profession published by SC-TEACHER of the University of South Carolina, Teacher Leadership for Whole Child Education: A Global Perspective, explores the role of teacher leaders in the context of the pandemic and the growing movement to establish whole child education. Written by Barnett Berry, a professor at the University of South Carolina; Linda Darling-Hammond, president and CEO of the Learning Policy Institute; and Anthony Mackay, CEO of NCEE, the paper explores the evidence on teacher learning and leadership as well as their responses during the period of school closures. The authors suggest that this experience exposed profound inequities in education and highlighted the need to attend to the full scope of a child’s developmental needs, both in and out of school . The authors call for a mindshift about teacher leadership and the creation of systems of leading teachers in a future when all educators need to lead. The use of new tools and processes is necessary to:
- redesign teaching schedules and school structures;
- rethink professional learning for the spread of teaching expertise;
- create more space for innovations from teachers and more strategies for scaling those up in schools, districts, states, and provinces; and
- reconsider how teaching expertise is recognized, utilized, valued. The challenge going forward is how to build on promising practices and continue to empower teachers and support them as leaders in reshaping the school experience to be more equitable, inclusive, and effective for students and families.