Smithsonian Science Education Center Pledges Support for Teach to Lead

February 2016

For over thirty years the Smithsonian Science Education Center (SSEC) has empowered teachers to lead from their classrooms and in their communities through professional and leadership development opportunities. These opportunities move teachers along a continuum from novice to expert in teaching science through inquiry. Participants at SSEC workshops build on their experiences in the classroom to enrich their teaching skills and content knowledge and ultimately become Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) leaders in their communities. Given this longstanding work to advance teacher leadership, the SSEC recently pledged its support for the Teach to Lead initiative.
Teach to Lead is a joint partnership between the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, ASCD, and the U.S. Department of Education to advance student outcomes by expanding opportunities for teacher leadership. The initiative seeks to provide resources, facilitate stakeholder consultation, and encourage professional collaboration to develop and amplify the work of teacher leaders. The SSEC joins over 100 other supporter organizations contributing to this important work.

Learn more about the Teach to Lead initiative at


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Teacher Leadership Summit
UPDATE: April 23-24, 2016
New Orleans, LA

As a new supporter organization, the Smithsonian Science Education Center is pleased to announce Teach to Lead will be hosting its seventh Teacher Leadership Summit in New Orleans, LA on April 23-24, 2016. Future summits will be held in Minneapolis, MN on July 23-24, and in Long Beach, CA on September 24-25.
The deadline for idea submissions for the New Orleans Summit is Monday, February 8, 2016 at 11:59pm ET. All idea submissions must be completed and submitted by this date and time. UPDATE: the idea submission deadline for the New Orleans Summit has been extended!  Summit ideas are now due on Monday, February 22 at 11:59pm ET.
At the Summits, educators from around the nation will work to collaborate, problem solve, and develop action plans to put their own teacher leadership ideas into action. Our hope is to attract the best teacher leadership ideas from exceptional educators  across the country.
All educators are welcome to apply as individuals but we ask that you bring a team of up to 5 stakeholders (teachers, principals, administrators, school board members etc.) to make the best progress at the Summit. At least one member of your team MUST be a practicing classroom educator.
Idea submissions will be reviewed by a team of teachers. For those who receive an invitation to participate, registration, lodging for those traveling over 50 miles, and some meals are provided free of charge. You must cover your travel costs. You can submit an idea for the Summit regardless of where you live, but travel costs are not covered, so please keep that in mind when you apply.
As space is limited for each Summit, idea submissions will be reviewed, and invitations for participation, with registration details, will be emailed to those accepted. Please read the criteria below carefully before submitting your idea.
Idea Submission Requirements
Summit participants must:
●        Have an actionable teacher leadership idea.
●        Pay for or obtain sponsorship of your travel.
●        Have at least one practicing classroom educator for your team.
●        Commit to taking implementation steps following Summit participation.
●        Be available to attend the entire Summit (8:00 am Saturday, April 23 through 12:30 pm on Sunday, April 24).
●        There will be a reception Friday, April 22 that we strongly suggest you attend. We will have a strategic networking session and you will have an opportunity to meet your Critical Friend.
Submitted ideas must:
●        Allow teachers to lead from the classroom.
●        Identify an area of need or target a specific problem.
●        Develop and implement approaches that address the need or solve the problem.
●        Utilize teachers’ professional experiences and expertise.
●        Promote collaborative work among multiple stakeholders.
●        Seek to create systemic supports for teacher leadership.
●        Be viable in the local context and sustainable over time.
●        Be able to show measurable progress over time.
Submitted ideas may:
●        Focus on any level of change – the school, district, or state.
●        Be functioning at any stage of development - an emerging idea requiring input and buy-in from stakeholders; something currently being developed in collaboration with recruited stakeholders; or something that has been implemented which is ripe for improvement or expansion.
You can find examples of action plans that were developed at previous summits using these links:
Click here (or cut and paste into your browser to submit your best teacher leadership idea by 11:59pm ET on Monday, February 8, 2016.
The Teach to Lead team will notify you if your idea is accepted for attendance by February 18, 2016.
Please contact the Teach to Lead educator engagement team with additional questions:
●     Aman Dhanda
●     Tami Fitzgerald