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Affiliates: New York City

Article courtesy of the Southeast Queens Press

New PS 136 Teacher Helps Create Change


A third grade teacher at PS 136 has been chosen as a MetLife Fellow in the Teachers Network Leadership Institute (TNLI), an honor shared by hundreds of exemplary public school teachers across the nation.

Since its inception in 1996, TNLI has been the pioneer in offering the teachers’ voice into the national discourse on education reform.
MetLife gives grants for research to teachers involved in their program.

“It’s exciting,” said Sharon Chapman, when she learned she was accepted. “I was in corporate America for 15 years and I decided to become a teacher so I went through the New York City Teaching Fellows program.”

Chapman said she decided to become a teacher because she wanted to make a change. She started teaching at PS 136 in 2002.
“My voice and my research can affect change,” she said. “MetLife gave me the opportunity to do research and impact this school and other schools in New York City,” Chapman said.

Members of MetLife Fellows read relevant literature, participate in online dialogues, and meet regularly with policymakers.

As a major part of their work, teachers with full-time classroom responsibilities, also conduct action research studies in their classrooms and schools, addressing the direct link between policymaking and its effect on student achievement.


TNLI works in partnership with New York University Steinhardt School of Education. The MetLife Foundation and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation provide major funding for TNLI.

“I work full time at PS 136 and meet once per month with the teachers’ new work group,” Chapman said. We work with an NYU professor, talk about our research and take the question about education to a researcher.

Chapman said her question about education addressed the impact she would have on students’ academic success if she worked with the parents.

“Some parents are not involved with their children’s academic study,” she said. “If I work with them and they get involved and help the children at home with the techniques I show them, then that would effect change.”

The Director of the Teachers Network Leadership Institute, Ellen Meyers said “this kind of teacher action research serves as the catalyst to forge meaningful conversations among parents, communities, and policymakers about what really works in education.”

For more information about TNLI visit www.teachersnetwork.org/TNLI


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