The Michigan Teacher Leadership Collaborative


Training educators as leaders and advocates so teachers and students thrive in Michigan

The Michigan Teacher Leadership Collaborative is a highly selective leadership opportunity for outstanding Michigan teachers looking to share their expertise around equity-focused instructional practices, deepen their knowledge of education policy, and gain a voice in decisions that affect historically underserved students and the teaching profession.

The Education Trust-Midwest, a Michigan-based non-profit, nonpartisan research and policy organization that works to close opportunity gaps that disproportionately affect students of color and students from low-income families, launched the collaborative with Teach Plus, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering excellent, experienced and diverse teachers to take leadership over key policy and practice issues that advance equity, opportunity and student success.

What Collaborative educators do:

The Education Trust-Midwest and Teach Plus work together to connect Collaborative members with policymakers and provide opportunities to propose policy solutions, testify, and meet with decision-makers at the local and state levels.

Participants also have opportunities to network and share expertise with other equity-minded educators and receive training from The Education Trust-Midwest and Teach Plus in:

  • Understanding education policy as a lever for student success
  • Community organizing
  • Writing op-eds and speaking with the media
  • Conducting focus groups with fellow teachers
  • Communicating their expertise with peers and broader audiences
  • Providing public testimony


How does it work?

The Education Trust-Midwest and Teach Plus will recruit and select the Michigan Teacher Leadership Collaborative members from across the state to participate in this cohort experience. Participants will become part of a larger movement of teacher leadership and help mobilize their peers around top issues impacting equity for students and the teaching profession in Michigan. Educators will work in groups with fellow teachers to advocate on behalf of their students and have opportunities to share their expertise about equity-minded classroom practices with peers and at Ed Trust-Midwest’s annual conference.


Members of the Collaborative have opportunities to:

  • Expand their influence without leaving the classroom.
  • Participate in training sessions, monthly virtual meetings, and smaller, issues-focused working groups.
  • Engage in training through expert-led modules and direct engagement with key stakeholders.
  • Receive a $2,500 stipend for their commitment.

What Are They Saying

Joy Lyman, FlexTech High School in Brighton

What is your proudest moment in the classroom?

Some of my proudest moments as a teacher happen outside of the classroom, when I see my students in action. Recently, I had a student send me a text message asking questions about recent tensions between Russia and Ukraine, telling me they had been discussing it with a classmate and were trying to understand it more deeply. Moments like those warm my heart — knowing that my students are truly thinking about the topics we learn about in class.

What has been most valuable to you about participating in the MTLC cohort so far? 

I have learned so much about how to use my voice to push the education profession forward and advocate for the needs of my students as a part of the MTLC. I have often felt powerless to make large scale change in education. MTLC gave me the tools I needed to feel empowered to make the world of education a better place.

How will you take what you are learning as an MTLC member to help ensure greater racial equity in your classroom and beyond? 

Before joining the MTLC I had worked with other staff members at my school to create an Inclusive Culture Change Team. It is my plan to take what I have learned back with me to our team to empower other educators to be reflective on their own practice and look for the ways they can leverage their expertise and passion to create a more equitable environment for my school and every school.


Thank you to our philanthropic partners!









Program Sponsor







Education Equity and Excellence Convenings Sponsor