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2020-21 Illinois Teaching Policy Fellowship

What is the Teach Plus Illinois Fellowship?

  • A highly selective leadership opportunity for outstanding Illinois teachers looking to deepen their knowledge of education policy and gain a voice in decisions that affect students and the teaching profession. 
  • Fellows expand their influence without leaving the classroom, starting in June 2020 and concluding in June 2021.  
  • Monthly Fellows Sessions (virtual and in-person, none in July)
  • Fellows receive training through expert-led modules and direct engagement with key stakeholders. No prior policy experience required. 
  • Fellows receive a $1,600 stipend for their commitment.

What do we do?

Teach Plus trains teachers in understanding education policy as a lever for student success, community organizing, writing op-eds and speaking to the media, providing public testimony, and more. Teach Plus works to create and connect teachers to opportunities to lead in real ways at the policy level.

How does it work?

Teach Plus recruits and selects Illinois Teaching Policy Fellows from across the state to participate in the cohort experience. You will become part of a larger movement of teacher leadership and help mobilize your peers around top issues impacting the teaching profession in Illinois. Teach Plus works with key stakeholders and policymakers to join the conversation.  

Nationally and locally, Teach Plus Policy Fellows have:

  • Met with President Barack Obama in the Oval Office
  • Advocated for Illinois’ historic education funding reform law by meeting with House Speaker Michael Madigan and 15 other lawmakers, organizing teachers throughout the state, and by holding a rally in Springfield.
  • Engaged 351 teachers in focus groups to provide input on Illinois’ new accountability plan under the Every Student Succeeds Act.  Illinois teachers suggested 17 changes to the plan, and 16 have been adopted!
  • Spoke at conferences in Illinois including EduColor, ECET2, an SB100 conference, and the IEA Representative Assembly.
  • Illinois teachers have been published or featured in US News & World Report, Education Week, the Chicago Tribune and Sun-Times, the Springfield Journal-Register, and on Chicago Tonight on WTTW.


Teach Plus seeks a cohort of teachers who reflect the cultural, linguistic, and geographic diversity of our state.  Apply if you:

  • Are a current teacher of record with at least two (2) full year of teaching experience by August 2020
  • Have a track record of success teaching students in Illinois
  • Are ready to dedicate your time and passion to learning about policy and advocating on behalf of changes that impact students across all 
  • Have a passion for sharing the diverse perspectives and experiences of students and teachers with policy makers

Application Process

Part 1 – Written Application

The written application asks you to complete general demographic information, short responses and provide contact information for two professional references (letters of reference are not required.) Applications are due March 8, 2020.

Part 2 – Interview 

You will be notified if you have been invited to participate in an interview. Interviews will take place March 16-27 virtually.

Part 3 – Selection

You will be notified if you have been selected to join the Illinois Teaching Policy Fellowship. If accepted, you will commit to attending the kick-off convening in Bloomington on June 20-21, 2020 and monthly sessions throughout the fellowship.

Click here to nominate a teacher!

Attend an Information Session to have your questions answered and hear from Teach Plus Illinois Executive Director and Teaching Policy Fellowship alums.
Register Thursday March 5th Policy Fellowship Information Session Here 7pm

Questions? Please contact Crystal Jameau at for assitance.