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Early Leadership Institute

The NEA Early Leadership Institute (ELI) helps affiliates strengthen connections to early career teachers through a project addressing issues of concern for new teachers.

NEA’s Early Leadership Institute is a golden opportunity for state and local associations to work with Early Career Educators to develop their emerging leadership skills. We know that 200,000 new teachers are hired across the country each year. These new teachers will be our future association leaders! These newer educators thrive in an environment that emphasizes collaboration, teaming, and social engagement. They are also interested in improving the profession, facilitating student-centered changes and seeking out professional opportunities that allow them to grow.   

ELI teaches you how to be an effective advocate for your students, your coworkers, and education as a whole.

Recognizing that many of these new hires weren’t raised in association households and may have little experience with professional associations, NEA’s Early Leaders Institute (ELI) provides an opportunity for state affiliates to strengthen their connection to early career educators in a cohort-based learning journey around issues of concern to the next generation of teacher leaders.

ELI has provided me with resources to become a more effective and reliable leader.

Each local site designates an ELI Coach to support Fellows on their leadership journey. This journey involves advocacy and problem solving as Fellows work together to do the following: 

  • Interview other Early Career Educators about their professional challenges 
  • Attend association and community leadership meetings  
  • Identify research findings that inform the needs that Fellows identify from educators and leaders 
  • Design a project to address one or more of these needs, and  
  • Present a project plan to the local association as a proposal for collaboration after the six-month program is completed. 

The Coach is the primary contact with NEA and will collaborate regularly with coaches from other sites through monthly webinars. The ELI Coach also coordinates opportunities for Fellows to connect with association leaders around issues of concern to new teachers.   

State affiliates that wish to support the growth of new leaders in their associations are encouraged to host the Early Leadership Institute. This is the way to build a pipeline of professionals who can join in important association work, and even run for association office. 

Using your Voice to Advocate for Student Success Micro-Credentials

Help your students and their families through powerful advocacy. Earn micro-credentials and learn organizing skills that will support communicating and collaborating with learners, families, colleagues, other school professionals, and community members.
National Education Association

Great public schools for every student

The National Education Association (NEA), the nation's largest professional employee organization, is committed to advancing the cause of public education. NEA's 3 million members work at every level of education—from pre-school to university graduate programs. NEA has affiliate organizations in every state and in more than 14,000 communities across the United States.