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Teacher Leadership Institute

The Teacher Leadership Institute (TLI) is a comprehensive program to recruit, prepare, activate, and support the next generation of teachers to lead a transformed teaching profession.

The Teacher Leadership Institute (TLI) is a joint endeavor of the National Education Association (NEA) and participating state and local affiliates.  TLI is the product of a shared vision of teacher leadership advancing the profession. It is a comprehensive effort to recruit, prepare, activate, and support the next generation of teachers to lead a transformed teaching profession.   

During my TLI experience, I’ve had the opportunity to connect with some fantastic teachers—not only in my state, but across the country. These teachers are just as driven as I am, and they are focused on uplifting and bringing about change in their schools.

–Erica Avent, Sixth Grade Teacher, Oxford, MS 

Program Overview 

The Teacher Leadership Institute is a cohort-based learning experience consisting of:  

  • Rigorous competency-based curriculum  
  • Applied experience through a selected capstone project  
  • Deep local and national community collaboration  
  • Extensive coaching and support 
  • Evidence-based portfolio documenting growth in the Teacher Leadership Competencies   

TLI employs a powerful model for teacher leadership that reflects the changing demographics across our nation. The model’s foundational premise is to develop teacher leaders who can successfully advocate and support diversity in classrooms and communities. The program guides the professional growth of these leaders to be culturally competent in their ability to create and support equitable learning environments for all learners at every school site and district in the country.

The program offers the professional learning, support, and experience necessary for teachers to expand their influence and offer their expertise in new, large, and innovative contexts. TLI, grounded in diversity, equity, and cultural competence, brings together overarching competencies (common set of leadership skills) and three intertwined pathways that define the ways in which teachers can forge new paths in education: instructional leadership, policy leadership, and association leadership. 

See the power of TLI in this video: Teachers discuss the impact of the Teacher Leadership Initiative on their professional growth in Arizona.

For more information about the NEA Teacher Leadership Institute, please contact the NEA Teacher Quality department at educatorsupports@nea.org

Teacher Leadership: Overarching Competencies Micro-Credentials

Developed in partnership by the National Education Association, National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, and Center for Teaching Quality, these micro-credentials can teach you how to advocate for diversity, equity, and cultural competence and develop leadership skills in instruction, policy, and/or your association.
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.