Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (AERA) location:Philadelphia date:3-7 April 2014
The phenomenon of teachers taking on leadership tasks beyond their classroom duties has become widespread internationally. Although presented as a catalyst for educational improvement, it blurs the traditional division between teaching and leading and therefore challenges the conventional professional relationships in schools. This paper reports on the perceptions of teacher leaders in Flemish schools. By conducting semi-structured interviews of 26 teacher leaders we collected data concerning the consequences for their professional self-understanding and for their social-professional relations within the school. From a micro-political perspective, the results demonstrate how teacher leaders find themselves juggling between two different agendas of professional interests: obtaining recognition as a teacher leader by their colleagues as well as maintaining their social-professional relationships with their former colleagues.