Growing Educator Leaders – Apply Today!

The Growing Educator Leaders (GEL) program is part of a nationwide effort to improve public education. Funded by the American Federation of Teachers, the program is designed to tap into the knowledge of real education experts: those who work with students every day.

The GEL program brings educators together for meaningful learning opportunities and action research activities. If you are selected to participate in the GEL program, you will become a member of a supportive network of educators who advocate for our students, educators, and schools.

KEY OBJECTIVES of the GEL program:

  • Understanding the major challenges facing public education and uncovering possible solutions
  • Growing our leadership skills and learning to bridge the research-to-practice gap
  • Representing our profession and gaining confidence in our voices as educators
  • Strengthening the partnership between our union and education policymakers

Participants will DEVELOP SKILLS related to:

  • Articulating issues in public education and framing them as questions for inquiry,
  • Conducting action-oriented research and transforming findings into plans,
  • Creating a collaborative culture and becoming active in their union, and
  • Advocating for your students, colleagues, schools, and profession.


GEL sessions are held on Saturdays from 8:30 am to 3:30 pm at the SPFT office (23 Empire Dr, St Paul) on the following dates:

  • October 13, 2018
  • November 10, 2018
  • December 8, 2018
  • January 19, 2019
  • February 16, 2019
  • March 16, 2019
  • April 27, 2019
  • May 7-9, 2019 (TBD)

Any and all members of SPFT are eligible to participate. Bring your wisdom and love of learning to the program and apply today!


Applications and letters or recommendation are due by 4:00pm on Sept 11, 2018. Group interviews will be held following that date. Visit this link to fill out an application and upload your letters of recommendation:

If you have any questions or need an application link sent to you, email Heidi Springborg at

For more information, check out a Q&A about the program here.