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Lesson Plan in Boston Schools: Don’t Go It Alone
By Mike Winerip
New York Times, August 8, 2010

 

Memphis T3

General Questions

What is the T3 Initiative?

The T3 Initiative is an innovative program to recruit, develop, and support effective, experienced teachers to serve in high-need schools. This program was designed by teachers to address the problem of inequitable access to effective teachers. T3 teacher leaders have the opportunity to work with a team of effective teachers who are high performing and dedicated to working collaboratively to lead school turnaround efforts. The T3 teams are trained in strategies that have been used by other highly effective teacher teams. They are part of a broader strategy that supports effective teaching and they can take on leadership roles without leaving the classroom.

What is the Achievement School District (ASD)?

The Achievement School District (ASD) was created as part of Tennessee’s response to the federal “Race to the Top” initiative.  It is a project designed to flip the paradigm and ensure that the lowest performing 5% of schools in Tennessee will perform in the top 25% of schools across the state within 5 years. The ASD, working with Memphis City Schools and community partners, directly operates Corning Elementary, Frayser Elementary, and Westside Middle School.

How are the ASD and T3 working together in Memphis?

ASD is partnering with T3 to identify a team of outstanding teacher leaders for each of its Memphis Achievement schools. T3 teacher leaders will comprise at least 25% of the faculty at each of ASD’s Achievement Schools in Memphis (Frayser, Corning, and Westside Middle). T3 teacher leaders are full-time classroom teachers, but also have formal leadership roles.

Eligibility/Hiring

Do I have to be a current Memphis City Schools (MCS) or Achievement School District (ASD) teacher to become a T3 teacher leader?

No, you do not have to be a current MCS or ASD teacher to apply to become a T3 teacher leader. You must have at least 3 years of experience in a high poverty school by the end of the current school year, and you must be eligible to work for the Achievement School District. You are responsible for completing all paperwork required to be employed by ASD if you are not currently.

Can teachers currently working in schools where T3 will be implemented apply to be part of the T3 team?

Yes, effective and experienced teachers currently working in the identified schools are encouraged to apply to become part of the T3 team. We expect that a school’s T3 team will be made up of both existing teachers and experienced teachers who are new to that building.

Are T3 teacher leaders ASD employees?

Yes, T3 teacher leaders are full time ASD employees, with all the same benefits and rights.

Who actually hires T3 teacher leaders?

Teach Plus, ASD, and school staff are part of the team that reviews T3 applications. The principals of the Achievement schools that have T3 teams make the final hiring decisions.

If hired, do I have to resign my current position?

Yes, if you are selected as a T3 teacher leader and choose to accept the position, you must resign your current position and move to the T3 partner school. However, your application to T3 is completely confidential throughout the process, and if you choose not to accept the T3 teacher leader position, you may return to your current school.

T3 Team

What schools do T3 teacher leaders currently work in? Do you apply for a specific school or position?

T3 is new to Memphis this year (2012-2013), but T3 teacher leaders currently work in six schools in Boston, including turnaround schools, an Innovation school, and an in-district charter school.

Applicants are usually matched to a specific school and available position during the T3 selection process.  In Memphis, some T3 applicants may already work in a partner school or may have independently applied for a teaching position in a partner school through the ASD.  In either case, the principals of T3 partner schools make final hiring decisions.  During the application process, all T3 applicants will identify for which partner schools they would like to be considered.

What grade levels and subjects do T3 teacher leaders teach?

In Boston, T3 teacher leaders teach all grade levels and subjects from PreK – 8th grade, including Special Education and English Language Learners.  In Memphis, T3 positions will be available in all grade levels and subjects from PreK – 8th grade.

How many T3 teacher leaders will be in each Achievement School?

T3 teacher leaders will comprise at least 25% of the staff in each of the T3 partner schools.

What are the benefits of becoming a T3 teacher leader?

T3 teacher leaders earn a pay differential and serve in formal teacher leadership roles without having to leave the classroom. They work together with a cohort of like-minded teachers to significantly raise student achievement in schools where students need effective teachers the most. They receive support and training in topics related to the unique challenges of working in a turnaround school. They have the support of strong principals who value teacher leaders.

What is the pay differential for T3 teachers?

T3 teacher leaders receive a stipend of $5,000 for serving in a teacher leadership role in addition to their classroom teaching role.

What kind of leadership roles can I play in the school?

The leadership roles that T3 teacher leaders play are based on their own skills and experience, but also on the school needs and strategies outlined in the school’s strategic plan. Principals will determine the specific roles at each school. In the T3 partner schools in Boston, teacher leaders serve in a variety of roles, including grade level or subject area chair, or leader of a school-wide initiative.

Support and Training

Is there an orientation for T3 teacher leaders?

All T3 teacher leaders participate in an intensive, 3-4 day summer institute before the start of school. That time prepares the T3 team to launch the strategic plan while working with the principal and other teachers and assume leadership roles. Training includes but is not limited to: looking at turnaround models from other districts and states, team building, data analysis training, data review and planning, and working with the principals to implement different elements of the plan.

What kind of support and training do T3 teacher leaders receive?

In addition to the intensive summer institute, T3 teacher leaders receive ongoing support from both Teach Plus and ASD throughout the school year to support their success in the leadership roles they assume. Each school has a staff member (the T3 coach) whose role is to support the T3 teacher leaders through leadership training and coaching. That T3 coach leads frequent professional development with T3 teacher leaders in their building and attends the team meetings led by T3 teacher leaders to provide support and feedback.

Applying

Do I have to apply to the ASD and Teach Plus?

No.  If you are interested in being a T3 teacher leader in an ASD school and have not yet submitted an application to the ASD, please apply directly through T3. If you have already applied to the ASD for a teaching position and are also interested in a T3 teacher leadership position, please email Anna McCallie at amccallie@teachplus.org to let us know and we will work with ASD staff on next steps.

What is involved in the T3 application?

The application involves five parts: A written application, a phone interview, an interview day, a video or in-person classroom observation, and references.  The written application asks questions about your leadership experience and how you use data to drive your instruction, and you must also complete the Gallup TeacherInsight survey.  For more details on the application process, please see the APPLY page.

Is the interview day mandatory?

Yes, the interview day is a very important part of the selection process. When you submit a written application, you will indicate which interview days you are available. If you are selected for an interview, you will be notified which interview day you will attend.

What if I want to work for the ASD but not be a T3 Teacher Leader?

If this is the case, please apply only through the ASD website.  You can find the application here.