Foundational Components

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

  • Rigorous competency-based curriculum;
  • Applied experience through a self-selected capstone project;
  • Deep local and national community collaboration;
  • Extensive coaching and support; and
  • Evidence-based portfolio and micro-credentials documenting growth in leadership competencies


TLI Fellows follow a two term (spring and fall) calendar. The focus of the first term is the eight overarching competencies for teacher leadership. Additionally, Fellows choose two of the eight for deep study, practice, and reflection. For the second term, fellows choose one of  three pathways (instructional, policy, or association) for deeper study.

Fellows will, then, select one of the selected pathway’s  competencies for deep study, practice, and reflection and one additional competency focused on  diversity, equity, and cultural competence related to their selected  pathway. All foundational components listed above are embedded in both terms.  During the first term and throughout the second term, Fellows will define, design, implement, and reflect upon a Capstone Project that meets a need in his/her  context and helps him/her grow as a teacher leader.

The TLI curriculum for both terms have four modules: Learn, Design, Do, and Reflect. The delivery of the curriculum follows a flipped model. The flipped classroom is a pedagogical model in which fellows study content independently and then come together to share, apply, and deepen what they have learned.

Fellows access materials and resources through a learning management system (LMS). While fellows complete work independently, they will  find a variety of opportunities for support. Fellows are expected to engage in the threaded discussions in the LMS, coaching support sessions, face-to-face meetings with state or local cohorts, and one 90-minute virtual workshop per module. The workshop is a virtual meeting with two objectives: processing the module’s content and gaining clarity on the assignments required. Module assignments serve as building blocks for micro-credential submissions, which will come at the end of the term.

Fellows will submit two overarching micro-credentials at the end of the first term and two pathway micro-credentials at the end of the second term. Micro-credentials focus on mastery of a singular competency. To earn a micro-credential, fellows submit a portfolio of artifacts that demonstrate their competence in a particular skill.


TLI Recognition

The National Education Association and TLI partners are working with Digital Promise to offer TLI fellows the opportunity to earn at least four micro-credentials. In addition, fellows who complete the TLI process, including the submission of the Capstone Portfolio, will receive a Leadership Certificate of Distinction.

What Is a Micro-Credential?

A micro credential is a competency based credential focused on a discrete skill related to practice (in this case the array of practice of teacher leadership) based on a collection of evidence.

What Is the Process for Earning a Micro-Credential?

TLI uses the Digital Promise framework to ensure that the micro-credential:

  • Focuses on a single competency
  • Has a key method that is backed by research
  • Requires the submission of evidence
  • Includes a rubric or scoring guide

Teacher leaders review submissions using the rubric and scoring guide and provide feedback to fellows. The development and submission of evidence for micro-credentials is embedded in the TLI curriculum so will require no additional work from fellows outside of the process of participating in TLI.

More on Micro-Credentials

TLI Curriculum

TLI curriculum contains multiple modules. Each module (learn, design, do, reflect) takes approximately one month and addresses the core concepts of the competency as well as topics relating to diversity, equity, and cultural competence. The TLI curriculum is contextual and action-based. Fellows are not learning in a vacuum;rather they choose competencies and capstone projects based on their personal and professional life mission. Fellows will be asked to articulate their personal and professional goals and mission as the TLI experience launches. To realize significant value, this professional journey must allow each fellow’s intrinsic  motivation to drive progress.

Each module is comprised of the following components:

Introduction to Module


Reading and Video Guide

  • Core Readings (these readings are for ALL fellows, no matter the areas of focus)
  • Competency Readings (first term: choose two; second term: choose one pathway competency and one diversity, equity, and cultural competence competency)


  • Pre-work, warm-up, diversity, equity, and cultural competence focus, assignment focus

Module Assignments (micro-credential building blocks)

Capstone (face-to-face sessions)

  • State/local cohorts will meet face-to-face a minimum of three times throughout the course of the program. While the work of the capstone project is embedded in the curriculum, the deep dive into the capstone will take place during these meetings. Fellows will learn the expectations, strategies for implementation, and methods for reporting.

Preparation for next module

  • At the end of the first term, fellows will submit  evidence in pursuit of TWO micro-credentials. Throughout the term, assignments will be completed. These assignments serve as the building blocks for their micro-credential submissions.