"My involvement in TLN [Forum] has had a profound impact on my teaching and leadership in one of our state's most challenged schools. At TLN, we are continuously thinking about ways to improve our profession by impacting education policy. But we are also a close-knit community whose members are always there to help one another and keep each other afloat in our often very difficult work. It is the teacher community I've been searching for all my professional life."
Betsy Rogers, 2003 National Teacher of the Year, Alabama
Since its 2003 launch in the southeastern United States under the original name of the Teacher Leaders Network, the TLN Forum has proven to be a powerful venue for organizing a collective voice of accomplished teachers with a focus on what works best for the students they serve, while remaining outside the province of narrow ideological or political interests. Virtual collaboration allows very busy and accomplished teachers to work together on projects, publish their writing and action research, participate in focused discussions with national experts, and easily contact educational decision makers to advocate for best policy and practice.
Many TLN Forum members are state and local educators of the year, National Board Certified Teachers®, Presidential and Milken Award winners, and recipients of other teaching honors. They offer wisdom and insights that seldom surface in the national education policy debates dominated by academics and political think tanks. Currently, TLN Forum members represent 35 states and one Canadian province, and the community will continue to invite new members until our 50-state goal is reached. Our diverse membership, now approaching 300, includes a mix of suburban (45%), rural (20%) and urban (35%) teachers across the PreK-12 spectrum. More than one-third of TLN Forum members work in Title I schools, including some of the most challenging inner-city schools in America.
On average, members have been professional educators for 20 years. A significant majority are current classroom teachers. As the TLN Forum has grown and matured, some members are moving into other teacher leadership roles as school-based coaches, lead teachers, teachers-in-residence, and teacher educators.
Members of the Network have achieved success as authors, professional developers, trained mentors, policy consultants and community leaders. Their accomplishments have been recognized through myriad awards and honors, including (but not limited to):
District Teacher of the Year – 53
Disney American Teacher Award – 3
Fulbright Fellowship – 2
Milken Award Winner – 5
National Board Certification® – 116
National Teacher of the Year – 2
Presidential Teaching Excellence Award – 5
Regional Teacher of the Year – 19
State Teacher of the Year – 17
USA Today Teacher Team – 2
From Florida to Washington State, Colorado to New Hampshire, members of the TLN Forum community are improving student learning by advancing the teaching profession.