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Early Career Learning Labs

The NEA Early Career Learning Labs is a professional learning program developed to support early career educators around problems of practice.

The NEA Early Career Learning Labs (ECLL) is a member-led, member-driven professional learning program developed to support early career educators (ECEs) around problems of practice (PoP). The Labs occur in a blended learning format in both face- to-face and online environments.  

Our Theory of Change

By creating blended learning opportunities to address ECEs’ problems of practice, by the end of their learning cycle, early career educators will have a supported path to improve each student’s learning environment.

Virtual coaches and leads at the TQ Coaches Convening to learn and practice skills to support early career educators.
Virtual coaches and leads at the TQ Coaches Convening to learn and practice skills to support early career educators. Credit: Ambereen Khan-Baker

What does the ECLL learning cycle look like?

  • Discover: ECEs identify an instructional problem of practice and social emotional challenges.  
  • Engage: ECEs engage in a group process to refine problem of practice and build community. 
  • Learn: ECEs learn strategies to address problem of practice and social emotional challenges. 
  • Teach: ECEs apply new knowledge techniques with students. 
  • Reflect: ECEs share experiences, refine teaching strategies, and build community. 
This ECLL cohort focused on identifying, engaging, and retaining black male educators in the profession. The cohort also focused on coaching around professional and social emotional issues.
This ECLL cohort focused on identifying, engaging, and retaining black male educators in the profession. The cohort also focused on coaching around professional and social emotional issues. Credit: Ambereen Khan-Baker

What are the program goals? 

  • Inspire, engage, and retain ECEs through personalized professional and social emotional supports.
  • Provide learning communities to foster collaboration, develop reflective practices, enhance student learning, and build relationships.
  • Increase the value proposition of membership for ECEs and empower them with personal experiences of how the union supports their professional growth
  • Build the capacity of the local affiliate to engage members around professional learning by developing local professional practice and association leaders to mentor ECEs.
  • Early Career Educators develop and improve on a problem of practice based on student needs to improve student learning.

Media Contact

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.