Teacher Leader Competencies

The School District of Philadelphia’s competencies were developed through an internal task force, led by the Office of Leadership Development & Evaluation.  The task force created an aligned vision for leadership in the School District of Philadelphia.  The design of the competences assists in promoting role responsibilities and a career pathway that promotes strong leadership at each career milestone.

Below are the competencies which are the foundation of all leadership development provided by the Office of Teaching & Learning for the District’s teacher leaders.

Click here for a downloadable version of the teacher leader competencies.


INSTRUCTIONAL LEADERSHIP (IL): Uses deep master of curriculum, instruction, and assessment to ensure all students engage in learning that demonstrates high academic achievement and growth.

  • SERVES AS CONTENT-SPECIFIC INSTRUCTIONAL RESOURCE: Serves as the curricular, instructional, and assessment expert in specific content areas and provides teachers with robust content-specific support designed to improve teacher practice and achieve consistently strong academic outcomes for all students
  • CONDUCTS CLASSROOM VISITS, DIAGNOSES & COACHES: Uses release time to support teachers in improving their practice through frequent classroom visits, targeted feedback, and other coaching and co-planning support
  • SUPPORTS culture of HIGH EXPECTATIONS and data-driven instruction: Supports a culture of high expectations and data-informed instruction by using relevant data to identify  and prioritize opportunities to improve curriculum, instruction, assessment, and professional development
  • SUPPORTS IMPLEMENTATION OF PLANNING STRUCTURES: Supports teachers with understanding high-impact instructional practices, aligned to the PA Core Standards through the implementation of rigorous and relevant curriculum and daily, unit, and long-term plans in specific content areas

PERSONAL LEADERSHIP (PL): Demonstrates the growth mindset, self-awareness, adaptability, and resourcefulness to inspire and achieve vision and goals

  • APPLIES GROWTH MINDSET: Applies a growth mindset to personal growth and development by actively seeking feedback; takes responsibility for behavior, mistakes, and results and changes behavior/actions to become a more effective leader
  • CONSIDERS DIVERSE PERSPECTIVES: Seeks to understand the needs and motivations of leaders, teachers, students, and families; considers a diverse set of perspectives when making decisions
  • DEMONSTRATES INTEGRITY: Demonstrates integrity by modeling and teaching high expectations for self and others to achieve school-wide vision, goals, and values
  • TAKES INITIATIVE: Takes initiative, going above and beyond typical expectations and making necessary innovations to achieve the comprehensive school plan
  • ADAPTS PERSONAL LEADERSHIP: Understands and articulates the impact of their own strengths and weaknesses; adapts personal leadership style to motivate, influence, and persuade others

TALENT MANAGEMENT & DEVELOPMENT (TMD): Recruits, selects, develops, and retains a highly effective team, fostering a culture of performance management and continuous learning that values and prioritizes staff and student learning

  • SUPPORTS TEACHER RETENTION: Contributes to the retention of talented teachers by serving as a mentor, motivator,  coach, and subject content facilitator
  • SUPPORTS TEACHER DEVELOPMENT: Develops non-evaluative individualized coaching plans for teachers and supports them in setting and meeting student learning and teacher practice goals; responds to the diverse learning needs of teachers and identifies, promotes, and facilitates varied and differentiated professional development and support
  • SUPPORTS ACCOUNTABILITY: Provides constructive feedback on strategies to strengthen teacher practice and address student needs aligned to the comprehensive school plan
  • ENCOURAGES DATA-INFORMED DECISION MAKING: Creates a climate of trust and critical reflection for teachers to analyze, reflect, and synthesize relevant student data from their own and other classrooms to improve teaching and student learning
  • MAINTAINS GROWTH MINDSET: Supports the conditions for a school-wide staff culture that embraces a growth mindset and feedback by developing the capacity of the teachers to grow through observation, feedback, coaching, professional development, and/or collaboration

COMMUNITY & CULTURE (CC): Understands and builds relationships with students, families, and all stakeholders in their school community and establishes an environment that promotes diversity, equity, and inclusivity

  • SUPPORTS RIGOROUS, EQUITABLE EXPECTATIONS: Supports the implementation of rigorous and equitable academic and behavioral expectations and promotes instructional strategies that address issues of diversity and equity in the classroom
  • FACILITATES INTERNAL RELATIONSHIPS: Supports teachers to implement class structures that facilitate trust and positive relationship-building between teachers and students
  • COMMUNICATES EFFECTIVELY: Communicates in a compelling and adaptive manner to build the trust and buy-in of teachers and students while reinforcing an environment in which teachers and students from diverse backgrounds and perspectives can succeed
  • DEMONSTRATES CULTURAL PROFICIENCY: Sustains an environment in which students, families, and teachers from diverse backgrounds and perspectives can thrive; identifies and mitigates inequities within the school and implements systems that value and respect the diversity and culture of all students, families, and staff members
  • BUILDS COMMUNICATION CAPACITY: Models and teaches effective communication and collaboration skills with teachers, students, and families, focused on attainable, equitable outcomes for students of all backgrounds and circumstances

VISION & GOALS (VIS): Articulates and implements a short- and long-term vision and strategy to ensure student success

  • SUPPORTS ARTICULATION OF SCHOOL’S VISION: Works with school leadership to  invests teachers, students, and families in the school’s instructional vision, mission, and values
  • SUPPORTS COMPREHENSIVE SCHOOL PLAN IMPLEMENTATION: Leads department- and/or content-specific meetings to analyze classroom and school-based data, facilitate problem-solving, and maintain a unified vision for teacher practice aligned to the comprehensive school plan
  • DEMONSTRATES HIGH EXPECTATIONS: Demonstrates and models high expectations in all settings by setting goals that are responsive to classroom data and that challenge teachers, students, and self to excel
  • SUPPORTS INNOVATION: Creates an environment that encourages  and assists teachers to design innovative plans for classroom initiatives that improve student outcomes and achieve the comprehensive school plan

ORGANIZATIONAL & OPERATIONAL MANAGEMENT (OM): Manages the key resources and systems needed to ensure the effective management of school systems and operations

  • SUPPORT SYSTEMS MANAGEMENT: Coordinates school-based operational routines and procedures as needed; acts as representative for principal or other school leaders for various school functions as necessary
  • DEMONSTRATES FLEXIBILITY: Demonstrates flexibility when plans or situations change unexpectedly; advises on strategies to maximize resources and ensure effective management of classroom systems and operations
  • SUPPORTS EFFECTIVE PRIORITIZATION:  Strengthens teacher focus on the critical details essential to keeping their classrooms running; advocates for sufficient time, preparation, and support for teachers to work individually and in teams to improve practice.
  • COMMUNICATES EFFECTIVELY: Uses clear and organized communication systems to regularly communicate with leaders, teachers, students, and families