Connected Arts Networks Project – Teacher Leader Position Description and Application

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Thank you for your interest in applying to be a Teacher Leader leading one of 15 national Professional Learning Communities for PreK-12 music educators through NAfME’s multi-year participation in the Connected Arts Networks (CAN) project.  

The application deadline was March 15. The online application is no longer open. All applicants will be contacted by the end of April.


Connected Arts Networks Teacher Leader Position through NAfME:



The National Association for Music Education (NAfME), in partnership with the National Art Education Association (NAEA – grant project lead), the Educational Theater Association (EdTA), and the National Dance Education Organization (NDEO) is launching Connected Arts Networks (CAN), a five-year grant initiative to create nationwide virtual Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) with educators in visual arts, music, theater, dance and media arts. The overarching vision for CAN is to build a sustainable model of professional learning for music and arts educators to strengthen their pedagogy, instruction and leadership skills in order to better serve students. This project is modeled after the successful structure of the PLC program in New York City, initiated by the Office of Arts and Special Projects (OASP), another partnering organization.

  • In year one of this multi-year project, NAfME will recruit a passionate and diverse group of music educators to create a national professional learning community of Teacher Leaders. (Similarly, the other grant partners, NAEA, NDEO, and EdTA, will recruit teacher leaders for their respective disciplines).
  • In year two, the initial PLC of Teacher Leaders will receive specialized virtual training to build their capacity to address diversity, equity, inclusion, and social-emotional learning within music instruction, while also emphasizing the importance of leadership skills, teacher professional development through PLCs, and standards-based instruction.
  • After year two, each Teacher Leader will facilitate their own virtual PLC of music educators, resulting in 15 PLCs, with a total of 150 music educators participating in PLCs in the program as a whole nationwide (10 music teachers in each PLC). The music education PLCs will be virtual, representing diverse schools, communities, and regions nationwide, including PLCs representing elementary, middle, and high school levels.

On behalf of the project, each national partner association (visual arts, theater, music, and dance) will be selecting 15 Teacher Leaders in their content area, and, in turn, developing 15 PLCs each in their respective discipline.

Upon being selected, Teacher Leaders will participate in a Project Orientation in May 2022, a Summer Institute in July 2022, and, starting in September 2022, monthly meetings with their PLC (see below timeline for more details). The goal is that by June 2023, each PLC Teacher Leader will be prepared to facilitate their own virtual PLC, which will include 10 music educators from around the country seeking a peer community.



  • March 15, 2022: Applications due
  • Early April: Teacher Leaders are interviewed
  • End of April: Teacher Leaders selected and notified
  • May 18, 7-9 pm ET: Virtual PLC Orientation
  • July 7th, 8th, 26th and 27th, 1-5 pm ET each day: Virtual Summer Institute, with a bridge of some asynchronous work between July 8th and July 26th
  • September 2022 – July 2023: Monthly meetings begin, 1-2 hours in the evening, dates will be set by PLCs. Document the process of piloting practices in their classrooms.
  • 4 Quarterly Workshops led by content specialists, 1-2 hours within 7-9 pm ET:
    • #1: week of October 31, 2022: Tuesday, November 1
    • #2: week of January 2, 2023: Thursday, January 5
    • #3: week of March 6, 2023: Wednesday, March 8
    • #4: week of May 8, 2023: Thursday, May 11
  • September 2023 – July 2026: Teacher Leaders continue to participate in monthly PLCs while simultaneously facilitating their own monthly PLCs, coaching peer art educators, and leading the creation of digital resources and toolkits.



  • Equity, Diversity & Inclusion (ED&I) (Note: NAfME uses the term Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Access – DEIA)
  • Social-Emotional Learning (SEL)
  • Teacher leadership in standards-based music and arts instruction and Professional Learning Communities (PLCs)



  • To develop highly effective arts educators, building their capacity to address ED&I and SEL in their standards-based music and arts instructional area through sustained, intensive, and job-embedded blended professional learning.
  • To develop a local and national cadre of Teacher Leaders in the music and arts by building their content knowledge and leadership skills in order to expand the impact of music and arts learning for students and their communities.
  • To develop accessible music and arts-based instructional materials, strategies, and toolkits to disseminate to educators nationwide, including synchronous and asynchronous professional development programs and digital resources.



  • Peer mentorship and community network of ongoing support
  • Participation in a select group of nationally-recognized Teacher Leaders
  • Quarterly virtual workshops with national content experts
  • Potential bi-annual virtual intervisitations / walkarounds / rounds with peer music and arts educators, depending on availability and scheduling
  • Stipend: Up to $8000 total across 5 years
    • $500 in Year 1 (Orientation Year: May-July)
    • $1500 in Year 2 (Training Year: September-July)
    • $2000 each year for Years 3-5 (Implementation Years: September-July)
  • Professional development hours to utilize towards your local professional development needs (check local requirements)
  • Annual professional development / leadership certificates to recognize participation in the program
  • Opportunities to contribute or be featured in publications such as magazines, newsletters, website, blogs, and/or professional journals
  • Opportunities to present at webinars, podcasts, town halls, and/or local/national conferences and conventions



  • Be a current music educator at a PreK-12 school
  • Minimum of 3-5 years as a music educator
  • Demonstrated skills in standards-based arts education instruction and familiarity with the National Core Arts Standards and, in particular, the 2014 Music Education Standards
  • Interest and experience leading teacher groups
  • Interest in and commitment to participating in multi-year leadership development groups at the national level
  • Strong collaboration skills
  • Commitment to Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion
  • Commitment to the importance of integrating Social-Emotional Learning into the classroom
  • A desire to create a shared space for music educators to learn from each other
  • Availability to attend July summer institutes and evening and/or weekend meetings (see timeline above for more info)
  • Ability to work and meet remotely



  • Experience with Professional Learning Communities
  • Experience with online collaboration platforms and/or Learning Management Systems
  • Collaborating with other educators in remote settings
  • Teacher Certification
  • Experience working in Title 1 schools / Title 1-eligible students



To be considered for the role of CAN Teacher Leader, please complete the online application – see the link provided at the top of this web page under “Step 3.” The application deadline is March 15.



Please note that if you are selected to be one of the 15 teacher leaders through NAfME, your principal/supervisor will be asked to sign a support letter as confirmation of their support for your participation in this project. You will also have an opportunity (optional, not required for submitting the application) during the online application process to upload a support letter from your principal/supervisor recommending and supporting you for this project. CAN Grant Support Letter for NAfME Teacher Leader Applicants.


Questions? Contact John Donaldson, Director Professional Development and Publications,