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Teacher Leader

The AFT Teacher Leaders Program (TLP) brings together a select group of teachers throughout the school year to learn how to take active leadership roles in their schools, unions and communities. Participants in the TLP help to strengthen the union and its connection to the community building greater support and understanding of public schools.

The AFT Teacher Leaders Program supports the goals of the local unions and provides:

• A strong tie to community organizations and community leaders;

• An informed teacher voice;

• A vehicle for positive messaging about public schools and their unions; and

• A pipeline for future school and union leaders.


Participating teachers develop skills related to:

• Creating a collaborative culture;

• Accessing, using and presenting relevant research;

• Reaching out to families and communities;

• Becoming advocates for teachers, students and their families, and for public education; and

• Understanding policy issues and making recommendations to and through their unions.


Through their participation in the AFT Teacher Leaders Program, teachers:

• Become conversant with and participate in both the local and national dialogue on education;

• Develop relationships with local policymakers and community leaders;

• Connect practice, research and policy; and

• Serve as a sounding board and advisory group for union leaders.

To support implementation of the TLP by local affiliates, the AFT provides orientation for the local president and facilitator; technical assistance/ ongoing support; stipends for participating teachers and facilitators; and access to a nationwide online community of teacher leaders from all locals engaged in this work.


The application is due by September 19, 2015. If you have any questions or would like additional information, please contact the Union office at 816-756-1818.

All portions of the application must be submitted or the application will be considered incomplete:

  1. Application (complete online)
  2. Commitments (complete online)
  3. Essay on topic of your choice (send to kim at; and
  4. Two letters of recommendation (send to kim at

Please note: All applicants are required to attend an hour-long interview.