Initiative Overview

Teaching Matters, in partnership with New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE) Office of Teacher Recruitment and Quality (TRQ), is leveraging its existing teacher leadership development program, Teacher Leadership Matters, to advance Common Core State Standards (CCSS)-aligned instruction in English language arts (ELA) and mathematics in NYCDOE’s K–8 classrooms. Using a micro-credentialing process, teacher leaders (TLs) are recognized for demonstrated competencies in how they work with peers in professional collaborations to influence improved practice. During this two-year initiative, Teaching Matters plans to develop two cadres of 30 TLs to lead 600 teachers in effective professional learning communities focused on influencing improved CCSS-aligned instructional practices.

Strategies for Supporting Teacher Leaders to Advance Common Core

Network Support for Teacher Leaders

Across two years, Teaching Matters is developing and mentoring 60 TLs to lead effective professional collaborations that support improved CCSS-aligned ELA and math instruction in K–8 classrooms. Teaching Matters supports its TLs to develop skills for effective adult learning and knowledge of CCSS-aligned tools in multiple ways:

  • TLs participate in a rigorous micro-credentialing system, earning recognition in the form of digital badges for exhibiting key competencies in guiding teacher teams through cycles of inquiry and demonstrating improved CCSS-aligned instruction with the teachers they support.
  • TLs attend teacher leadership institutes to learn about tools, protocols, and strategies that help to lead productive and collaborative professional learning communities (PLCs).
  • TLs receive monthly, job-embedded coaching on leading effective PLCs as well as individualized feedback on the artifacts submitted to demonstrate competencies, such as the competency to lead their team towards improvements in Common Core-aligned teaching practice.

TLs are staffed in NYC schools with persistent achievement gaps.

Teacher Leaders Working with Teachers

Throughout the school year, TLs lead weekly meetings for up to 10 teachers in school-based PLCs to engage in inquiry-based professional learning to refine practice and engage with Achieve the Core’s tools. TLs guide their teacher teams through ongoing cycles of inquiry: analyzing student data, setting goals for student learning, selecting and implementing CCSS-aligned strategies to address gaps in student learning, and assessing teacher and student progress. Beyond leading the PLCs, TLs facilitate professional learning sessions to larger audiences, such as content-area departments, on tools and instructional strategies aimed at CCSS instructional shifts. Some TLs have the opportunity to provide one-on-one peer coaching to a subset of non-PLC teachers through lesson modeling, lesson observation, and personalized support for lesson planning.

Partnerships with Local Education Agencies

Teaching Matters has partnered with the NYCDOE on its formal teacher leadership career pathway. A part of that pathway includes using the existing micro-credentialing approach to prepare and qualify teachers for formalized teacher leadership roles through its Emerging Teacher Leadership Program, a joint effort between NYCDOE’s TRQ, the New York City teachers’ union, and Teaching Matters. NYCDOE has created conditions that support teacher learning by providing its teacher leaders with compensation and release time to execute their TL responsibilities and by providing all NYCDOE teachers with 90 minutes per week for professional learning. NYCDOE is responsible for recruiting the two cadres of teacher leaders.

General Information

Teaching Matters
475 Riverside Drive – Suite 1270
New York, NY 10115

Jennie Brotman, Director of Service Design
(212) 870-3505