As the VP, Specialists (or Curriculum/Instruction/Assessments) you will be charged with redefining and codifying a definition of “excellent education” that will guide Teach For America’s program and practices for the next era of our work. In this work, you will define the team vision and strategy, as well as manage and develop your 10+ person team of content area specialists (all Directors or Managing Directors) to design and implement innovative, contextualized, relevant approaches to teacher development.
In order to achieve this, you will also partner with various teams across the organization to support the evolution of the classroom-based leadership model, the execution of summer training institutes, the selection and evaluation of university partnerships, and the development of program staff members. You will build internal coalitions with Org-Wide Learning and Strategy (OWLS), Regional Operations (RO), regional executive and program leaders, Public Affairs, and others to drive integrated work on behalf of the organization.
In doing so, you will establish the learning infrastructure and practices to study, evaluate, evolve, and report on TFA’s impact in classrooms in the field.
This role is for you if you are:
- Deeply grounded in Teach For America’s theory of change. You are proximate to our corps members and alumni in the communities where you live and work, can speak first-hand to the power and potential of the individual and collective impact of this leadership force, and understand the lessons learned in pursuing our theory of change over time. You believe our work with our corps is critical but are also especially inspired by our first part of our theory of change and how we deliver on the promise to our students and communities in new ways. You connect every decision and strategy back to whether or not it is in alignment with our theory of change.
- Obsessed with teacher development and efficacy. You are a student of teacher development in pursuit of expanded outcomes for students and are fluent in multiple pedagogical approaches.
- A great synthesizer and communicator. You have a keen ability to synthesize complex ideas and information. You excel at deducing foundational insights. And, you are able to effectively communicate to/with diverse audiences in diverse formats.
- A radical collaborator and pragmatic iterator. You seek out diverse and new perspectives in unexpected places. You thoroughly enjoy the process of refinement, questioning, and reinvention. At the same time, you also value usefulness and practicality and learning by doing.
- A systems thinker, systems manager, and systems leader. You are fluent in operating and leading change at multiple altitudes and layers. You have strong management experience through and across layers, and you have a proven track record in leading system-wide implementation.
Redefine and codify a definition of “excellent education” that will guide Teach For America’s program and practices for the next era of our work
- Build and maintain partnerships (on behalf of Teach For America) with national experts/thought-leaders in the field to ensure the most research-based approaches are considered and enacted
- Conduct internal research through auditing and synthesizing existing teacher support/development models in use in the organization and interviewing CMs, alumni and staff
- Use established internal learning loops to discern best practices that lead to strong results in classrooms
- Across the organization, drive network engagement on this topic
- Work with team leads to set ongoing learning agenda and codify promising practices and bright spots to fuel organizational learning
Manage a team of content specialists to design and implement innovative, contextualized, relevant approaches to teacher development
- Overseeing the knowledge and resource creation and curation for various content areas
- Setting vision and direction for TFA’s approach to and theory of content expertise
- Lead the development of team vision and the short and long term strategy to improve corps member performance in the classroom through content-specific support beginning at Institute
- Manage and develop managing directors in each content area to effectively execute on team priorities for their specific subject area
- Cultivate, hire and retain high-performing team members
- Develop a team culture of excellence that places a premium on effectiveness and efficiency
Partner with various teams across the organization to support the evolution of the classroom-based leadership model, the execution of summer training institutes, the selection and evaluation of university partnerships, and the development of program staff members
- Work in partnership with other sub-teams across TLD and the rest of the program and learning teams in order to monitor ongoing performance of corps members and staff members to inform evolving strategy
- Cultivate ongoing relationships with leaders of other national teams to inform strategy and represent Specialists perspectives
Establish the learning infrastructure and practices to study, evaluate, evolve, and report on TFA’s impact in classrooms in the field.
- Develop learning and evaluation plan to test ideas, evaluate and socialize learnings across the organization
- Develop tools, structures, resources to support collecting, synthesizing, and sharing insights across our internal team and across our network
- Develop strategy and systems for understanding regional needs and insights to inform future planning and prioritization
- Host and convene learning activities made up of both internal and external experts
- 5 – 10 years of work experience minimum
- Proven record of success in a role managing managers to achieve ambitious goals
- Experience in designing and delivering high-quality professional development to teachers preferred
- Strong track record in leading teams in setting vision, direction, and strategy
- Established record of success and strong ability to manage and lead others to reach ambitious results, both through managerial relationships and through collaborative relationships
- Ability to work collaboratively in dynamic organizational environments, developing strong internal and external relationships
- Desire to learn constantly, and apply feedback and lessons learned to continuously improve work
- Ability to design and facilitate effective learning experiences for corps members and staff members that are rooted in adult learning theory
- Strong understanding of culturally relevant pedagogy; ability to develop curriculum, learning experiences, and training & support for teachers that is rooted in culturally relevant pedagogy and support for all learners. Strong understanding of the Common Core State Standards, as well as a deep understanding of existing research and best practices in classroom management and culture
- Strong written and verbal communication
- Working with colleagues who are based all over the country – using remote technologies
- Traveling periodically for in-person collaboration (estimated travel is 1-2x/quarter on average)
By joining staff, you join a network of individuals committed to pursuing equity for all students and developing themselves as professionals in the process. We as an organization value the longevity of our employees and offer a comprehensive and competitive benefits plan. The salary for this position is also competitive and depends on your prior work experience. Please be advised, you will have an opportunity to discuss salary in more detail after you begin the application process.