Career Development for Teachers

Teacher Career Pathways 

The NYC Department of Education and United Federation of Teachers (UFT) hold a common belief that by extending educators’ skills beyond their individual classrooms, teachers can be powerful levers of change in their school communities.  

Teacher Career Pathways is a strategic approach in teacher leadership. It increases access to highly effective teaching, supports student achievement, promotes teacher retention, and provides development opportunities for teachers to continually build their instructional practice. 

Model Teachers

Model Teachers are highly skilled educators with a passion and drive to improve the instructional quality of their schools. By extending their impact as teachers and lead learners in the school community, They promote local effective instructional practices beneficial for diverse groups of students. Additionally, they create a welcoming environment within their lab classroom for teachers to reflect, grow, and continuously explore innovative instructional strategies.

What are the core responsibilities of a Model Teacher?

Leading a Laboratory Classroom

  • Hosts a Lab Classroom.
  • Visits and experiments with a variety of research-based instructional strategies, curricula, and teaching methods that are beneficial for diverse student populations.
  • Serves as a lead learner by facilitating ongoing cycles of collaborative action research in the form of student learning inquiry.
  • Articulates instructional choices and supports colleagues to take innovative steps in the selection of instructional strategies, lesson. planning, and tasks.

Strategizing Adult Learning

  • Analyzes impact of professional learning on student outcomes with the collaboration of colleagues and school leaders.
  • Designs research-based professional learning using adult learning principles while continually seeking opportunities for reflection, differentiation, and feedback.
  • Leads ongoing inquiry and analysis efforts around the instructional focus through patterns and trends of teaching practices and student learning.

Facilitating Professional Collaborations

  • Researches and experiments with protocols and tools to support teacher teams and student learning inquiry efforts.
  • Conducts student learning inquiry alongside colleagues; facilitates opportunities for colleagues to tackle a problem of practice and collaboratively test a theory of action.
  • Launches collaborative action research from the lab classroom by inviting colleagues to explore instructional practice.

Advocating in Leadership Conversations

  • Conducts strategic leadership conversations with school leaders on teacher leadership efforts and continually collaborates with them in identifying and refining an instructional problem of practice.
  • Develops action plan with school leaders for teacher leadership initiatives, identifying opportunities in resources, trends, and learnings.
  • Facilitates ongoing reflective conversations with school leaders and colleagues to establish trust, promote buy-in, and optimize adult and student learning opportunities.

"Through our lab classroom, my colleagues and I are able to see each other in action, share feedback, and think collectively about our practice. Our post-observation conversations have pushed us to change our practice to better meet the needs of our students." -- Geneviève DeBose,  Bronx Studio School for Writers and Artists

Peer Collaborative Teachers

Peer Collaborative Teachers (PCTs) are highly skilled educators that are committed and driven to improve the instructional quality of their schools. As lead learners, PCTs promote local effective instructional practices that are beneficial for diverse groups of students. PCTs support their colleagues through focused coaching, inter-visitations, and designing meaningful opportunities for professional growth.

What are the core responsibilities of a Peer Collaborative Teacher?

Coaching Peers

  • Coordinates school-wide inter-visitation process with colleagues in order to develop a common understanding and language around instructional practices
  • Facilitates peer-reflection in various ways around pedagogy, instructional strategies, and student impact
  • Leads debrief conversations anchored in an asset-based mindset, using evidence-based low-inference notes and student work artifacts

Leading a Laboratory Classroom

  • Hosts lab classroom visits and experiments with a variety of research-based instructional strategies, curricula, and teaching methods that are beneficial for diverse student populations.
  • Serves as a ‘lead learner’ by facilitating ongoing cycles of collaborative action research in the form of student learning inquiry
  • Articulates instructional choices and supports colleagues to take innovative steps in the selection of instructional strategies, lesson planning, and task design

Strategizes Adult Learning

  • Analyzes impact of professional learning on student outcomes with the collaboration of colleagues and school leaders.
  • Designs research-based professional learning using adult learning principles, while continually seeking opportunities for reflection, differentiation, and feedback.
  • Leads ongoing inquiry and analysis efforts around the instructional focus through patterns and trends of teaching practices and student learning.

Facilitating Professional Collaborations

  • Researches and experiments with protocols and tools to support teacher teams and student learning inquiry efforts.
  • Conducts student learning inquiry alongside colleagues; facilitates opportunities for colleagues to tackle a problem of practice and collaboratively test a theory of action.
  • Launches collaborative action research from the lab classroom by inviting colleagues to explore instructional practice.

Advocating in Leadership Conversations

  • Conducts strategic leadership conversations with school leaders on teacher leadership efforts and continually collaborates with them in identifying and refining an instructional problem of practice.
  • Develops action plan with school leaders for teacher leadership initiatives, identifying opportunities in resources, trends, and learnings.
  • Facilitates ongoing reflective conversations with school leaders and colleagues to establish trust, promote buy-in, and optimize adult and student learning opportunities.

Find Out More

If you are a current NYC public school teacher, visit the Teacher Career Pathways section of the Employee InfoHub for more information on these roles, the application cycle, and the opportunity to sign up for our newsletter to stay connected.

Discover Our Impact

Over 4,500 educators have responded and reflected on their Teacher Career Pathways experience. Our research has confirmed that:

  • Teachers who work with teacher leaders agree that their instructional practice has improved.
  • Teacher leaders have increased collaborative behaviors with colleagues.
  • Principals are highly satisfied with the impact their teacher leaders have had on their school communities.
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