Ask a person about Appalachia, and their answer will likely amaze you. Outsiders may grimace, telling you about poverty and economic depression, an unhealthy affinity for coal, lack of education, and so on. Insiders, though, might tell you about the close-knit community, respect for the land, rich cultural heritage, and a passion for the place and its people.
Teachers need not be researchers to contribute to their profession. By participating in networks of like-minded educators -- implementing, continuously improving and communicating about practical approaches intended to improve outcomes of proven approaches -- they play an essential role in the improvement of their profession.