Lead Professional Educator Designation
The Lead Professional Educator designation provides a career continuum that allows teachers to divide their instructional time between responsibilities to students and responsibilities for adult leadership. The ADE recognizes the critical role of teacher efficacy in student achievement, but it also recognizes the impact teacher leadership plays on school reform. The Lead Professional Educator designation was created to extend the reach of exceptional teachers to more students and teachers. The intent behind this designation is to encourage districts to provide the Lead Professional Educator with protected time in their workday to work with students in some capacity and spend the remaining part of their day working with teachers. The Lead Professional Educator designation is one-way DESE is supporting statewide initiatives, such as Opportunity Culture, and seeking to ensure all students have access to excellent teachers.
Becoming a Lead Professional Educator
- Documentation of three (3) years of licensed teaching experience. This experience may include time spent teaching with a provisional license, but the teacher must have a standard Arkansas teaching license to be eligible.
- Evidence of an effective or highly effective rating on the applicant’s most recent summative evaluation conducted within the previous 4 years.
Teachers who fulfill the bulleted criterion may select one of the pathways below to earn the Lead Teacher Professional designation:National Institute for Excellence in Teaching (NIET) Arkansas Lead Professional Educator Pathway: Teachers participating in NIET’s Lead Professional Educator pathway attend and engage in four core teacher leadership-focused trainings: Leadership Structures for Teachers, Continuous Development of Instructional Practices, Using High-Quality Data to Drive Instruction, and Facilitating Growth for Others. Between trainings participants will complete performance tasks with support from NIET specialists and a network of teachers in their cohort. NIET believes that teacher leaders are a powerful lever for improving educator effectiveness and ensuring all students have opportunities for success.
Arkansas Leadership Academy: Arkansas Leadership Academy’s Teacher Leader Program is designed to prepare teachers for advanced leadership roles within the classroom and beyond. Teachers who complete the six days of face-to-face sessions and submit a portfolio assessment demonstrating proficiency of the Teacher Leader Model Standards will be eligible for the Lead Professional Educator designation.
Teaching Matters: The ADE Lead Professional Educator for Lead Designation is for Arkansas teachers who want to master high-leverage competencies and share those same competencies with other teachers. Participating teachers earn four micro-credentials through a blend of personalized, job-embedded learning with structured support and guidance from an experienced educator who provides feedback and support. Evidence is submitted through a Learning Management System for scoring, and upon successful completion, the participating teacher is issued a micro-credential showing mastery of competency and the designation of Lead Professional.
BloomBoard’s Lead Professional Educator Micro-Endorsement: BloomBoard offers teachers pursuing the Lead Professional Educator designation a stack of 6 micro-credentials carefully designed to support the teacher-leader role. Completion of this stack of micro-credentials prepares teachers to effectively coach other teachers and provide better support for student's academic and social-emotional needs.
Teacher Leader Programs of Study: Educators who enroll in Fall 2022 or after and complete DESE-approved programs for the Instructional Facilitator endorsement (code 521) must pass the ETS® Performance Assessment for Teacher Leaders (PATL) to add the Lead Professional Educator designation to their licenses. Educators enrolled in previously approved programs will be eligible for the Lead Professional Educator designation upon successful completion of their current program. Please click the link PATL for more information.