Developing Educator Leaders

American Federation of Teachers (AFT) Teacher Leaders Program  

All UESF members are invited to apply — Counselors, Nurses, ParaEducators, T10s, Speech Language Pathologists, School Psychs, Teachers, Social Workers, Central Office staff, etc.  Not yet a member?  Fill out the UESF membership form.

Stipends for participants. Ongoing support; and access to AFT’s nationwide online community of educator leaders engaged in this work.

The AFT Teacher Leaders application form essay & two letters of support are due by September 16, 2023.

The Teacher Leaders Program brings together a selected group of certificated and classified union members and empowers them to assume active leadership roles in their schools, unions and communities. These educators then serve as catalysts to build their profession and strengthen their union and its connection to the community in order to generate support and understanding of public schools. Teacher Leaders will continue to use the skills they develop in the 8 month paid program throughout their careers.

AFT brochure:  From Practice to Policy

Program Goals: 
Participants will be able to 
(1) understand and engage in local action research to create avenues of change in educational practice and discuss education policy with guest speakers; 
(2) complete assigned tasks between meetings; and 
(3) attend and fully participate in the required monthly meetings.

Please contact Diana Mueller at with questions.

2022-23 UESF Educator Leaders’ Research Topics
⧫⧫ What can SFUSD and SFUSD schools do to better support trans and non-binary students while they are in school and improve their school experiences in order to increase high school graduation rates and increase matriculation rates to college or technical school?⧫⧫ How would implementing a community school approach benefit elementary schools in the district? ⧫⧫ How can district-run teacher induction programs better prepare new teachers and address teacher shortages?⧫⧫ What are the factors that contribute to the shortage of Special Day Class teachers in SFUSD?⧫⧫ What are the unique stressors that RSP teachers face in San Francisco Unified School District? ⧫⧫ How do we get new teachers/paraeducators & experienced teachers/paraeducators up to speed and kept up to speed with changing education technology?⧫⧫ How can San Francisco Unified create safer technology policies for students and staff? ⧫⧫ In what way does teacher pay contribute to teacher shortage in SFUSD? ⧫⧫ What ways can SFUSD preserve and recruit more staff to expand and offer more support and increase training in Deaf Education?⧫⧫ 

What UESF Educator Leaders have to say about the program – Cohort 2022-23

Finding community with other passionate educators has been revolutionary. I feel empowered to enact change in my own school and advocate for our union. Megan Dukes, Teacher Alvarado ES

The Teacher Leaders Program gave me an opportunity to connect with union colleagues while deepening my understanding of policy and advocacy.  Sabeena Shah, Teacher John O’Connell HS

The AFT/UESF Teacher Leaders Program has allowed me to take my strongly-held convictions about education policy and present them to policy-makers. In turn, the program has also allowed me to see the challenges policymakers face and to consider those when making my recommendations.  Daniel Ryan, ParaEducator Access – The Arc 

Participating in this program was really helpful because I learned a lot about how to write policies. I appreciated the community and meeting other educator leaders. Miriam Iglesias, Teacher Downtown HS

I appreciate AFT’s program of empowering teachers. I was thankful for an active leadership role in bringing awareness around safe technology and environmental health in schools. Sarah Aminoff, Substitute Teacher

2019-2022 UESF Research Topics

2019-2022 Testimonials