NIET’s Arkansas Lead Pathways Designation

Feb 10, 2023

Rolling Timeline


NIET is excited to partner with the Arkansas Department of Education to offer an approved pathway for Arkansas teachers to earn the Lead Professional Educator Designation.

Arkansas’s Educator Professional Designations provide career opportunities and financial incentives for teachers while also building instructional leadership capacity. Earning NIET’s Lead Professional Educator Designation will prepare teachers to lead and support their colleagues from the classroom through training and on-site coaching that builds instructional expertise. Lead educators will develop the skills, knowledge, and disposition to improve teacher collaboration and growth in their schools.

NIET Lead Pathways Trainings and On-Site Support

NIET’s training and support for teachers seeking the Lead Professional Educator Designation empowers participants to grow as teacher leaders, leverage instructional expertise, make data-driven decisions, and foster collaborative partnerships.  Teachers attend and engage in four core teacher leadership-focused trainings, each divided into synchronous and asynchronous virtual sessions, and on-site support from an NIET Specialist. The training sequence includes: 

1) Building Foundational Leadership: Leadership Structures for Teachers

In this training, participants will gain a foundational understanding of successful teacher leadership roles in schools. The training will provide an opportunity to identify individual leadership strengths and reflect on how leadership structures can help teacher leaders grow and support their colleagues.

2) Instructional Expertise: Continuous Development of Instructional Practices

Teacher actions can have a significant impact on student learning. This training will guide prospective lead teachers by reviewing high-quality instructional practices that positively impact student growth.

3) Data Driven: Using High-Quality Data to Drive Decision

We all say that high-quality instructional practices positively impact student growth, but how can we be sure? This session will strengthen the skills and expertise of prospective Lead Professional Educators in analyzing the quality of assessments and understanding how student ownership in the assessment process can promote rigorous personalized learning.

4) Collaborative Partnerships: Facilitating Growth for Others

Now you have the instructional background and skills to be a teacher leader, but how do you apply these skills and knowledge to support your colleagues? This session will examine how they can promote, design, and facilitate job-embedded professional learning aligned with their fellow educators' group and individual needs.


Participants will progress through the training as part of a cohort, creating a network across the state that can collaborate and communicate with each other long after the training is complete.

Performance tasks will be assigned between each training date, and participants will receive onsite coaching and support from an NIET Specialist. 


NIET is a nonprofit with over 20 years of experience working in districts across the country, including in Arkansas. At the core of NIET’s work is the belief that all students deserve to be taught by an effective teacher. We have found that teacher leaders are a powerful lever for improving educator effectiveness and ensuring all students have opportunities for success.

Many teachers want to grow and make a broader impact without leaving the classroom.  NIET’s training and support helps teachers to strengthen their own practice while at the same time developing instructional leadership skills to support colleagues and administrators and increase instructional excellence in their school communities. This career opportunity for teacher leaders helps schools and districts to better retain and engage effective teachers and support student success.

Reach out to with any questions.

AR Lead Pathways Designation Flyer