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22Sep 21

Meet TLI: Joanna Lein

What do you do at TLI? 

I am proud to serve as the Executive Director and Founder of TLI. I have a variety of hats from coaching teachers, coaching leaders, designing professional development, partnering with districts and other organizations, fundraising, managing our staff, and projecting forward on our overall strategy. 

How did your career path lead you to TLI? 

I started as a classroom teacher, as we all did. I found out early on that the adults in the building drive outcomes for kids. I joined the Teach For America staff and I got the coaching bug – I saw the impact that coaching teachers could have on students and adults. But each year, teachers were new, the work was hard, and it seemed like we weren’t making any progress so I joined Cleveland Public Schools as the Assistant Superintendent. As I looked around the education system, I saw a growing need to develop systems around new teachers and I felt compelled to do something about it. Hence, TLI was born. 

What is your favorite thing about doing this work? 

I love the one-on-one work. You get to know people and their motivations. You get to know classrooms and kids. While professional development can be effective, it sometimes feels distant from the work. There is nothing like being in a classroom. 

What do you hope for students in Oklahoma?

I hope that every single student has access to an excellent teacher. For this to be true, we must invest in developing teachers and principals (because people quit their bosses). We also need pathways that are accessible for anyone interested in joining the profession. 

What else should we know about you?

I am originally from the suburbs of Chicago and my family is still there. They are still confused why I am in Oklahoma but I am very happy with the life my family and I have built here. I am a proud mother of two. We spend a lot of time at parks and at lakes. I am also an avid backgammon player and rower. 

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Meet TLI: Joanna Lein

What do you do at TLI?  I am proud to serve as the Executive Director and Founder of TLI. I have a variety of hats from coaching teachers, coaching leaders, designing professional development, partnering with…

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Meet TLI: Marissa King

What do you do at TLI?  My official title is Chief of Staff but my colleagues would probably say I’m TLI’s jack of all trades. I happily split my time between coaching school leaders and…

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Meet TLI: Nina Fitzerman-Blue

What do you do at TLI?  Work with school leaders! As the Director of Leadership Programs, I run our School Leader Cohort -- a year-long fellowship that includes summer training, weekly one-on-one coaching, and opportunities…

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A Year in Review: Teacher and Leader Professional Development

TLI develops teachers and school leaders across multiple districts through short cycle coaching and professional training workshops.  Often, trainings are offered as multi-day sessions or as a series of trainings over a number of weeks.…

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Meet TLI: Rebecca Fine

What do you do at TLI?  My official title is Manager of Teacher Development and Communications. In short, I coach teachers and lead professional development. I also handle communications for TLI including our social media,…

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A Year in Review: School Leader Cohort

As part of its leadership development, each year TLI selects a group of promising leaders across multiple districts to take part in a year-long, fully-funded School Leader Cohort (SLC). SLC begins in the summer with…

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Meet TLI: Samantha Aponte

What do you do at TLI?  I serve as a Manager of Teacher Development with TLI. Much like every member on our team, we wear a lot of hats! In this capacity I design and…

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A Year in Review: Partner District

TLI develops 3 - 5 year partnerships with Oklahoma school districts to strengthen classroom instruction and develop instructional leadership capacity. In a state where just over half of all teachers leave the profession in the…

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TLI: A Year In Review

The Teaching and Leading Initiative of Oklahoma recently published its 2020-2021 annual report and we are taking the next few days to share highlights from our year. While the pandemic brought distinct challenges, TLI stayed…

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School leaders talk TLI coaching

Each year TLI partners with Oklahoma school leaders to develop their instructional leadership capacity through weekly one-on-one practice-based coaching. We serve school leaders through both our School Leader Cohort and our District Partnerships where coaches work…

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It’s a wrap: Oklahoma’s 2021 20 Under 2 Awards

Oklahoma's 2021 20 Under 2 novice teaching awards celebrate 20 of Oklahoma's most promising educators in their first or second year of teaching. In May we announced the 2021 honorees and this year we were…

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Presenting the 2021 20 Under 2 Honorees!

Twenty of Oklahoma's most talented novice teachers have been chosen as this year's 2021 20 Under 2 honorees for the third annual 20 Under 2 Novice Teaching Awards. The 20 Under 2 Novice Teaching Awards…

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