Rethinking Teacher Development – Figuring out how best to help all teachers improve their practice, so, in turn more students achieve, is the million-dollar question. At TNTP, we spent two years taking an in-depth look at how three large public school districts and one charter school network support their teachers’ professional growth in hopes of finding an answer. Over that time, we surveyed more than 10,000 teachers and 550 school leaders and interviewed more than 100 district office staff members. We wanted to figure out what distinguishes teachers who improve from those who don’t—in terms of their development experiences, mindsets or the qualities of their schools—in the hope that they could provide a blueprint for helping far more teachers improve. In the end, though, we didn’t find what we hoped we would. Instead, what we found challenged all our assumptions about teacher development and how to achieve it at scale.
As a Partner on TNTP’s Strategic Growth team, one of Liesl Groberg’s priorities is understanding the policy and funding landscape for innovations that could help teachers of at-risk students improve their practice. Her career began as an alternative route teacher in DC Public Schools, where, in the early 90s, she taught eighth grade English. In the years that followed, teaching in Washington and Austin, Texas, Liesl experienced many changes in educator professional development, first as a teacher and later as a practitioner who coached teachers with the University of Texas, Breakthrough Collaborative and ultimately, TNTP. Prior to her current role with the national team, Liesl worked on TNTP’s DC Teaching Fellows program and launched and led the local certification program for new Teaching Fellows, one of the very first to base teacher licensure decisions on demonstrated classroom success assessed through multiple measures of effectiveness.
Richard Green is a Partner at TNTP and a leader in that organization’s professional development work. Based in Baltimore, Richard leads teams that helps large school districts activate change and re-imagine strategies for professional development for teachers and leaders, teacher preparation and induction, talent management and evaluation. Richard joined TNTP in 2010 to help Denver Public Schools launch one of the first evaluation systems to inform performance-based certification decisions. He has overseen TNTP Teaching Fellows programs in DC and Baltimore that together recruited and trained more than 200 teachers a year. Richard left public relations in 2001 to join the first class of DC Teaching Fellows and served elementary students in DC Public Schools, Fairfax County Public Schools and KIPP DC over the course of nine years. He was also a K-5 instructional coach. Richard earned undergraduate and graduate degrees from American University.