Last Updated: November 2, 2023|Categories: |

The Invisibilized and Contested Practices of
Teacher Leaders of Color

Despite widespread acknowledgment of teachers of Color as critical agents of change, white supremacist, colonial, and cis-heteropatriarchal ontologies of “teacher leadership” marginalize the counterhegemonic leadership they embody. Guided by critical leadership and feminist of Color scholarship, I develop and employ an embodied raciolinguistic analysis to examine how a Latina teacher leader of Color facilitated organization-wide action in the educational interests of Black students. My analysis demonstrates that her discursive and embodied practices as a non-Black woman of Color and “official” teacher leader were simultaneously (re)constructed as catalysts and hindrance for racial progress within and across social spaces. Grappling with these possibilities and tensions at interpersonal, institutional, and societal scales, she reflexively adapted her practices to recenter Black leadership while facing professional consequences. Arguing for radical social change by amplifying the multi-faceted and contested nature of counterhegemonic teacher leadership, I offer implications to foster the critical ingenuity needed to lead in love, solidarity, and justice for and among communities of Color.

Artist Bio

Nicky is a disabled, queer Puerto Rican comic artist, flatter, and colorist. She is the creator of the ongoing webcomic, The Unlucky Ones and the Edge of Nowhere, and the illustrator of Con Papá/With Papá. She started making autobio zines in 2018, exploring mental health, the impermanence of time and memory, existential ennui, and the meaning of home. She continues to explore these subjects in her fiction comics and is currently focused on her graphic novel endeavors and making zines about living with chronic migraine and occipital neuralgia. She is represented by Emmy Nordstrom Higdon of Westwood Creative Artists.

Tales of Teacher Leadership

Bridging the tensions between the practices of teacher leaders of Color and dominant ontologies of “teacher leadership” that marginalize the counterhegemonic leadership they already embody, I challenge narrow views of “teacher leadership” by uplifting the practices of teacher leaders of Color who catalyze social change while centering racially marginalized group interests in broad-based action. Guided by critical leadership and feminist of Color scholarship, I present a robust literature review and explain how and why an embodied raciolinguistic analysis is an important tool with which to study this essential form of teacher leadership.

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