The Teachers Edition

August 28, 2014 Sign up to receive THE TEACHERS EDITION.

Amanda Ensor

Teacher Amanda Ensor offers policy advice to the U.S. Department of Education.


Announcing Commit to Lead

Teach to Lead home page

As students and teachers head back to school, ED and the National Board today unveiled “Commit to Lead,” a new online community that is part of the joint Teach to Lead effort to promote teacher leadership.

Commit to Lead is an online platform that makes it easy for educators to share ideas about teacher leadership and collaborate to bring them to life. The community enables educators everywhere to provide feedback and vote on each other’s ideas, allowing the most talked about ideas to rise to the top, so they can gain traction and prominence in the field. 

Commit to Lead commitment box

HOW DOES COMMIT TO LEAD WORK? Commit to Lead invites educators to post quick ideas—in 300 words or less—that advance teacher leadership in their school, district or state to address a pressing problem in education and improve student learning. 

Educators can promote their ideas on social media, helping to spur the conversation beyond their own school buildings and districts, and they can search existing ideas by keywords and location. 

Ideas posted during a beta launch of Commit to Lead include:

  • Adding teacher perspective to state policy by inviting state education leaders to visit classrooms to speak directly with teachers and inviting educators to participate in feedback sessions and working groups at the state level. (Submitted by member in Plantsville, Conn.)
  • Building a pipeline of new teacher leaders by creating a partnership between a college of education and a local K-12 school that connects freshman pre-service teachers with established teacher leaders. (Submitted by a member in Palatine, Ill.)
  • Starting an online professional learning community for Career and Technical Education (CTE) teachers to share resources and strategies for integrating literacy into their classes. (Submitted by a member in Hattiesburg, Miss.)
  • Training lead teachers to serve as peer observers to provide feedback and support to their fellow teachers.  (Submitted by a member in Palo Alto, Calif.)

Learn more

educator panel discussion


Commit to Lead

"Today, we are announcing a new opportunity to advance teacher leadership. But, for it to succeed, we need your voice to be a part of it.

"Since day one on the job, many teachers have shared with me an overwhelming desire to excel in the profession, lead others, and to have a stronger voice. Too often, great teachers leave the classroom because they lack avenues to exercise their leadership – and that’s a loss for our students, our schools and for the profession..." Read more (Homeroom). 

"We need to give our teachers genuine opportunities to be leaders without leaving their classrooms."

--Arne Duncan

“In all true professions, the voices of accomplished practitioners are at the forefront of shaping policy and practice—the same must be true for teaching.” 

--Ron Thorpe


About the Teach to Lead Initiative

Teach to Lead is an initiative of the U.S. Department of Education and the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards to advance student outcomes by expanding opportunities for teacher leadership, particularly those that allow teachers to stay in the classroom. It was announced in March at the National Board Teaching and Learning Conference in Washington, D.C. 

The Teach to Lead initiative seeks to:

  • Highlight existing state and district systems that are working to support teacher leadership;
  • Share resources to create new opportunities for teacher leadership; and
  • Encourage people at all levels to commit to expanding teacher leadership.

Watch Arne Duncan's speech announcing Teach to Lead, including his discussion with teachers at the conference or read a transcript.