Activating Teacher Leadership Institute 2016

In this institute, teams of 3-5 school & district leaders (principals and assistant principals, teacher leaders, department leaders, coaches, etc.) will collaboratively construct and implement a plan to maximize the impact of teachers’ expertise on student learning and make a discernable difference in student learning gaps.

Applications are now open for an exciting opportunity for school and/or district teams.

About the Institute

Effective principals know they cannot do their increasingly demanding job alone. More importantly, when principals tap into their teachers as leaders, they discover that the collective thinking and combined professional expertise of the staff can move the school forward faster and more effectively. This six-month program is designed to strengthen school and district leaders’ abilities to identify, bolster and tap the leadership potential of teachers and to be able to support and align this leadership influence with school and district goals to improve teaching and learning.  

Institute Origin:

This institute is built on lessons learned from the Boston Teacher Leadership Certificate (BTLC) Program. For the past six years, participating teacher leaders have provided feedback about what makes their roles challenging and what factors allow them to make the biggest difference for students through their roles. Teachers21, a Massachusetts-based non-profit helping educators at all levels to be leaders, has partnered with the BTLC program to translate these lessons into tools and learning modules for school and district administrators. The result is an institute that supports districts to take a thoughtful, student-focused approach to teacher leadership.

What to Expect:

As part of the institute, teams will identify the needs of their student population and the strengths of their individual staff members. From there, the teams will create new roles or reshape existing roles that tap teachers’ expertise in service of school needs.  They will also prepare to address common political and logistical challenges that can arise when introducing teacher leader roles and working through a distributed leadership model.

Last year, twenty-two teams from schools and districts across Kentucky participated in the Activating Teacher Leadership Institute 2015 to improve their schools for their students. One Kentucky teacher said, “The ATLI project has been just the catalyst our school needed to implement more effective teacher-leader opportunities, address underlying culture and climate needs, and plan effective instructional changes to improve student achievement.” Reflecting on her team’s progress a Kentucky principal said, “The tools we used in ATLI helped us articulate and guide our conversations. Our teachers are now collaborating with each other more; we are seeing a shift in our culture to more distributed leadership.” Click here to reach a Kentucky Teacher article about the Second Street School ATLI project.

Institute Dates:

  • Team Coordinator training: Wednesday, June 22         Lexington

  • June two-day institute: Thursday & Friday, June 23-24 Lexington

  • Monthly Team Coordinator webinars, July-October online

  • Fall one-day follow-up institute: early November                  TBD

Composing your Team:

Our institute energizes and empowers teams of 3-5 educators to be catalysts for maximizing teachers’ expertise to address student learning gaps throughout their schools.

  • Most teams will be school-based.  School districts with fewer than six schools can choose to work as a cross-school or district-based team.

  • School teams must include the principal; district teams must include the superintendent.

  • Teams must include at least one teacher. Including National Board Certified Teachers is encouraged, but not a requirement for team selection.

  • Teams must identify a teacher team member to serve as the Team Coordinator.  The Team Coordinator will attend the June 22 training and monthly support webinars.

  • All team members will participate in completing the application, attend the June institute and share the work.  For the November institute, the team will be encouraged to bring educators directly involved and impacted by the plan the June team creates, regardless of  whether they were on the original June team.

  • All teams will receive the support of an external network partner to support them in using ATLI tools, creating conditions for success and implementing their plans.


The institute is sponsored by the Kentucky Network to Transform Teaching, facilitated by Teachers21, and supported by a team of Kentucky network partners representing organizations including the Kentucky Department of Education, the Fund for Transforming Education, and Hope Street Group.

For more about the specific Activating Teacher Leadership support roles, click here.

Support provided by the Kentucky Network to Transform Teaching grant:

  • Cost of the June and November Institutes

  • Team Coordinator training and support (June 22 and monthly webinars)

  • Lunch at the Institutes

  • Travel (hotel if more than 120 miles, mileage)


Kentucky Network to Transform Teaching is funded by a US Department of Education Supporting Effective Educator Development (SEED) grant and is implemented by a local partnership of the Education Professional Standards Board, Kenucky Department of Education, Kentucky Education Association and the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards

How to apply:

I hope you will consider this exciting opportunity and encourage you to share this email with others who may be interested. I’m happy to address questions that you may have about the Institute and application through email at 


Prepare your Application

  • Convene your team to discuss the application questions together.

  • Click HERE to view/download a PDF version of the application that you can use to prepare the answers you will submit online.

On or before May 25

Join Informational Webinar

  • This optional information session is a chance to have your questions about the institute and the application answered.  If you cannot attend in person but would like to receive the recording, please register for the webinar; the recording will be sent to all who register. Webinar recording link

May 10,

4:30 EST/ 3:30 CT

Submit Application

No later than May 25

Receive Award Notifications

  • Teams will receive notification of the decision by this date.

  • Teams that are selected to participate will be asked to complete a team registration survey.

May 31

Confirm Team Participation

  • Team participation is not confirmed until the survey is received.

No later than June 3

Last modified: Wednesday, May 18, 2016, 4:15 PM