Administrators aren't the only education professionals who can take on leadership roles.Everyteacher can be a leader—and this book shows special educators how to choose and navigate their own individual path to educational leadership.
Author Belva Collins, a seasoned educator herself, knows that many special education teachers are called on as “leaders by default” when colleagues turn to them for expertise. In this empowering professional development resource, she shows special educators how topursue more intentional leadership rolesso they can maximize their impact in preK–12 schools. Preservice and in-service teachers will discovereight different pathsthey can follow to become leaders:
Making data-based decisions and conducting classroom research
Effecting schoolwide change
Mentoring other teachers and paraprofessionals
Conducting professional development and consultations
Working effectively with families
Supporting students during transitions
Advocating for students
Connecting with professional organizations that address disability-related concerns
For each path to leadership, teachers will get detailed guidelines for success, grounded in up-to-date research and the author's deep understanding of the everyday challenges educators face. Throughout the book, “Voice of a Leader” interview excerpts share nuggets of practical wisdom and show how real teachers evolved and triumphed on diverse paths to leadership.
Based on the successful teacher leadership course Dr. Collins developed at the University of Kentucky, this forward-thinking book will prepare special educators to make a powerful difference in schools, communities, and the lives of their students.
PRACTICAL MATERIALS:Chapters include learning objectives, definitions of key terms, thought-provoking reflection questions, interview excerpts, and follow-up activities to help teachers delve deeper into each leadership path. Full transcripts of interviews with eight teacher leaders are available online.
Belva C. Collins, Ed.D.is Professor and Chair of the Department of Special Education and Rehabilitation Counseling at the University of Kentucky, where she serves on the program faculty in the Moderate and Severe Disabilities Program. Dr. Collins began her career as a teacher of students with intellectual disabilities in rural Southwestern Virginia before coming to the University of Kentucky to work as a research assistant on several federally funded grants to validate the use of response prompting strategies in special education. She has continued this line of research throughout her career in higher education and has been successful in guiding the applied research of her students in investigating variations of systematic instruction in classroom and community settings. This work provides the foundation for this text. In addition to disseminating her own scholarly writing, Dr. Collins serves as the executive editor of Rural Special Education Quarterly, the primary publication of the American Council on Rural Special Education.