Teacher Leadership in Action: A Grant Opportunity for Massachusetts Educators

Teachers have a unique view into some of the issues holding their schools back, but rarely have the time or resources to clearly define the problem or explore ways they can use leadership to address these challenges. The Teacher Leadership in Action grant opportunity is designed to provide teams of Massachusetts teachers with the initial funding and coaching support they need to identify the root cause of a persistent challenge, develop creative and effective solutions, and create an actionable plan for implementation. Up to five grants of $3,000 will be awarded in April 2018.

Teacher Leadership in Action is led by Education First, with support from the Gates Foundation, and in collaboration with Teach Plus. This grant and coaching opportunity builds on the work of more than 70 educators who attended the Teacher Leadership in Action convening in December 2017, and is influenced by the work of four teacher leaders highlighted in this series of case studies and videos. The goal of this effort is to highlight excellence in teacher leadership and spur the growth of new and highly effective strategies and solutions statewide.

All Teacher Leadership in Action grant recipients will:

  • Attend a 1-day kickoff planning session in April 2018 to clearly define the challenge and begin to draft solutions;
  • Be paired with an experienced coach who will lead monthly coaching calls and use design thinking principles to help shape, test and refine their thinking, support the development of an action plan, and advise on initial implementation;
  • Reconvene as a group in late 2018 to present and discuss their outcomes and potential for scale.


All licensed Massachusetts educators currently employed at a public school (including charter and vocational-technical schools) are eligible to apply for this grant.


Applicants must complete this online form and budget summary and submit a 2-minute video by Friday, March 30th, responding to these questions:

  • What is the problem or challenge you are trying to solve?
  • How can you leverage teacher leadership (your own and others’) as a solution to this challenge?
  • How will resolving this challenge require a change from current practice?
  • What is your initial thinking on a solution?
  • How will implementation of this concept ultimately lead to better outcomes for students, especially low-income students, students of color, and/or other traditionally underserved students?
  • Who will comprise your team, and how will you involve them?
  • Why hasn’t this work happened yet?

Selection criteria

Grant recipients will be selected by a review committee of educators, who will look for:

  • Identification of a challenge that is impeding student success in a school or district
  • Identification of possible solutions that involve the growth of teacher leadership opportunities
  • Support for the idea from leadership within the applicant’s school and/or district
  • A team of educators who are committed to supporting the development of a plan and implementation
  • A clearly articulated vision for how this evolving form of leadership will make a difference, and  a realistic sense of what it will take to realize this vision
  • A demonstrated commitment to equity

For more information, please review this FAQ or contact me at hguarino@education-first.com.

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