Internal Pathways & Development > Teacher Leadership, Roles, & Development
Welcome to Teacher Leadership, Roles, & Development
We believe that a great teacher is one of the most important factors in our students’ growth and achievement. Teacher Leadership allows our best teachers to share the expertise they have developed with fellow teachers, extending a great teacher’s impact and helping more students grow. In Denver Public Schools, teacher leaders play a vital role in ensuring that teachers and schools are able to break historical patterns of inequity so that each and every student thrives, not by accident, but by design.
Be a Teacher Leader (Roles)
The Senior Team Lead (STL) is a teacher who, as a member of the Instructional Leadership Team, plays a critical role in helping a school reach their student achievement goals. The Senior Team Lead spends part of the day providing high-quality instruction in their own classroom as a teacher, and part of the day developing a team of teachers’ ability to deliver joyful, rigorous and personalized instruction that leads to high academic achievement. As an expert in their content area, Senior Team Leads facilitate collaborative team time, provide 1-on-1 observation and coaching to their peers, and oversee the end-to-end LEAP growth and performance evaluation for each teacher on their team.
The Team Lead (TL) is a teacher who, as a member of the Instructional Leadership Team, plays a critical role in helping a school reach their student achievement goals. The Team Lead spends part of the day providing high-quality instruction in their own classroom as a teacher, and part of the day developing a team of teachers’ ability to deliver joyful, rigorous and personalized instruction that leads to high academic achievement. As an expert in their content area, Team Leads facilitate collaborative team time, provide 1-on-1 observation and coaching to their peers, and contribute to the LEAP growth and performance evaluation for each teacher on their team.
The Team Specialist is a teacher who, in addition to providing high-quality instruction in their own classroom, magnifies their impact by facilitating collaborative team time to support a team or sub-team of teachers in developing their ability to deliver joyful, rigorous and personalized instruction that leads to high academic achievement. The Team Specialist does not have release time for this leadership role, but plans and delivers content in addition to their classroom teacher responsibilities.
The Regional Team Specialist (RTS) is a teacher who, in addition to providing high-quality instruction in their own school, magnifies their impact by facilitating collaborative time for a cohort of teachers in developing their ability to deliver joyful, rigorous and personalized instruction that leads to high achievement. The RTS leads a group of teachers in an aligned content area across multiple schools who may not otherwise have opportunities to collaborate in similar content or focus areas. This may include teachers in Beyond the Common Core subject areas, and others who teach unique content areas in their respective buildings. Learn FAQs about this role.
The New Teacher Ambassador (NTA) is a teacher who, in addition to providing high-quality instruction in their own classroom, magnifies their impact by providing resources and support to new teachers in their building. The NTA provides social emotional and school-based logistical support to teachers new to DPS, including both novice and experienced, in order to build a sense of community, belonging, and understanding of their role. The NTA acts as a communications hub, sharing and reinforcing information from the school’s leadership team and central office. This role does not have release time, but plans and delivers support in addition to their classroom teacher responsibilities.
The Pre-Service Teacher Mentor is a teacher who plays a critical role in supporting pre-service teachers in their development. The Pre-Service Teacher Mentor is a full-time teacher who hosts one pre-service student teacher in their classroom for the year and provides an example of excellent instructional practices. The mentor explicitly models best practice strategies for their pre-service teacher ensuring the teacher is building skills in their ability to deliver joyful, rigorous and personalized instruction that leads to high academic achievement.
Application & Stipend Information
Senior/Team Lead Pool Application
Apply to the Senior/Team Lead (S/TL) Pool. This visible pool of interested candidates is used by principals across the district as they search for strong fits for their leadership openings.
TLC Vacancies at Schools
Apply to Posted TLC Vacancies At Schools. Please note that you must secure a teacher role at a school in order to serve in a Team Specialist or New Teacher Ambassador role at that school. Senior Team Lead and Team Lead roles are hybrid roles, encompassing both the teacher and teacher leader responsibilities. Search for TLC vacancies at schools across the district by using the following keywords on the DPS Job Board:
Review Your Eligibility
Candidates must meet eligibility requirements in order to apply for and serve in teacher leader roles. You may still apply to teacher leader roles if you can provide teacher effectiveness data to the hiring manager as evidence of meeting eligibility requirements during the school-based selection process. Eligibility Requirements to Apply for TLC Roles
Learn more information about stipends.
Teacher Leader Professional Learning Opportunities
Teacher Leader Scope and Sequence
- 11x17 Scope and Sequence for Teacher Leader Development
- 8.5x11 Scope and Sequence for Teacher Leader Development
The scope and sequence articulates the progression of skills in development of leadership competencies in service of best first instruction. The intention is to promote alignment of support across stakeholders and empower individuals to personalize their own learning trajectory. This document is NOT a performance evaluation tool. To support clarity of expectations refer to the Teacher Leader Role Descriptions or LEAD Framework Scoring Guidance. The role progression listed is a recommendation. Individuals should identify the skills that align to their own development, not just their role.
How can this be used?
- Aspiring and Current Teacher Leaders – Drive your own learning by identifying your strengths and gaps
- Leaders of Leaders – Ground feedback conversations in a common language, differentiate supports for teacher leaders based on individual strengths and gaps, and provide clarity for aspiring teacher leader development
- Central Support Partners – Align central-based supports with school-based supports for structured, social, and experiential learning
Pathways to Teacher Leadership
Aspiring Teacher Leaders of Color Cohort (ATLOCC)
The Aspiring Teacher Leader of Color Cohort is an opportunity to uniquely develop transformative knowledge, skills, and mindsets to be a leader for equity in a Teacher Leader role.
Requirements and Expectations for New and Returning Teacher Leaders
Professional learning for teacher leaders is designed to support their individual development of foundational leadership competencies essential in their role. These foundational leadership development sessions are aligned to the Teacher Leader Scope and Sequence and LEAD Framework and are an opportunity for teacher leaders to engage in shared learning with peers across the district. Teacher leaders will additionally engage in required learning for their role as part of leadership weeks, regional learning, and school-specific learning.
Attending professional learning sessions alone will not support leaders to master the skills they need to be effective in their role. Participants will need support from their school-based coach/supervisor to practice and apply their learning.
Leader Look fors, Teacher Leader Professional LearningDocuments to support application and implementation of learning from sessions for New-to-Role Teacher Leaders
Beyond Year One of Teacher Leadership
Mentor New Senior/Team Leads
The Internal Pathways and Development Team supports the development of a team of New S/TL Mentors who are current S/TLs with three or more years of experience in the role. The Mentor Team meets five times during the school year to deepen their own understanding about facilitating equity center adult learning. Each Mentor will connect individually with their caseload of Mentees (new S/TLs) to provide personalized support. Additionally, the Mentors will facilitate four Community of Practice sessions for small groups of new S/TLs that is focussed on building foundational skills, knowledge and mindsets to lead for educational equity in their buildings. Learn more information about Mentor Model for New Senior/Team Leads.
Thrive Fellowship Cohort
The Thrive Fellowship Cohort is a seven-month opportunity for Senior/Team Leads, who identify as Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) and are in year one or two of the role. Participants will meet as a professional learning community to deepen their understanding of transformational leadership and reflect on current problems of practice. DPS continues to address bias and prejudice in our district, offering the Thrive Cohort as one way to empower BIPOC Senior/Team Leads.