Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


School of Education

First Advisor

Gary Sehorn, EdD

Second Advisor

Karen Buchanan, EdD

Third Advisor

Nicole Enzinger, PhD


Developing classroom teachers to become leaders within their school environments is an initiative which is gaining momentum nationally. Leadership from teachers is critical to a school’s success due to their knowledge concerning the learning environment and the students they serve. The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore the experiences of early career teachers identified as teacher leaders. Data was collected through personal interviews with three early career teachers who had been identified as teacher leaders by either colleagues or administrators. The data analysis revealed the following themes: (a) new teacher leaders do not always see themselves as leaders, but rather perceive themselves as using their abilities to serve others; (b) growing as a teacher leader is fostered by feeling safe enough within the school community to seek help from others; (c) success in teacher leadership motivates new teachers to engage in their own growth, as well as their colleagues. Recommendations are made on how emerging teacher leaders, administrators, and teacher preparation programs can support the development of teacher leadership in school settings.

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