Great Video on a New Way to Teach Math

May 17, 2010

Check out Math Teacher Dan Meyer’s critique of contemporary math curriculum and instruction methods. He references an amazing quote from Albert Einstein:

The mere formulation of a problem is far more essential than its solution, which may be merely a matter of mathematical or experimental skills. To raise new questions, new possibilities, to regard old problems from a new angle requires creative imagination and marks real advances in science.


They’re hiring!: Leadership Opportunities With Achievement First

May 10, 2010

We all know that Breakthrough teachers have the potential to be amazing educators after college. We hope that you’ve considered education as a career path and we’re always doing our part to share opportunities to help you get there. Achievement First has some amazing career opportunities right now, see below for more details.

June Opportunities With Achievement First

Want to stay up to date with Achievement First Opportunities?
Become a Fan of Achievement First on Facebook or read our blog The Chalkboard

Middle School Teaching Opportunities With Achievement First
June 1; 8:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m. EST
Hosted by Alicia Garcia, Talent Recruiter
Achievement First firmly believes that the single most important factor in a child’s academic success is the quality of his or her teacher. During this session, learn what teaching in an Achievement First middle school is all about! It will include information on training, professional development opportunities and how our schools are pushing our scholars forward to develop their academic and character skills. Alicia Garcia will discuss opportunities for the 2010-11 school year and our application process.

Leadership Opportunities With Achievement First
June 15; 8:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m. EST
Hosted by Becca Howlett, Senior Director of Recruitment
We know that effective school leaders have a significant impact on school culture and student achievement, which is why we invest so much in developing strong leaders. Join us to learn about our unique leadership opportunities and hear from current school leaders about their daily lives within our network. Becca Howlett will discuss opportunities for the 2010-11 school year and will review the application process.

Open Door Days
June 1-20; 8:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.
Brooklyn, NY and New Haven, Bridgeport and Hartford, CT

Want to see a high-performing elementary, middle or high school in action? This month, we are opening our doors to anyone interested in seeing firsthand how our scholars excel at such high levels. You will observe great instruction and leave with new ideas to bring back to your own classroom.
RSVP Here (Include your grade level, content area and ideal dates for your visit)

Apply to join the ’10-’11 Achievement First Team
We have openings from Kindergarten through High School in our Connecticut and New York schools! If you are a talented, passionate teacher interested in closing the achievement gap apply today!

We have particular needs for the following positions:

  • ’10-’11 K-1 Teachers – Brooklyn, NY
  • ’10-’11 Elementary Special Education Coordinator – Brooklyn, NY
  • ’10-’11 Middle School Math Teachers – Brooklyn, NY
  • ’10-’11 Talent Recruiter – Brooklyn, NY ; Connecticut and Rhode Island
  • ’10-’11 Recruitment Assistant – Brooklyn, NY
  • ’10-’11 Middle School ELA Teachers – Connecticut
  • ’10-’11 Founding Principal-in-Residence, Rhode Island

Visit to learn more!

Heads Up – Site Director

April 30, 2010

Strong Out-of-School Time partner looking for a Site Director in D.C!

Site Directors serve as the instructional and operational leaders in Heads Up’s
after-school tutoring and summer academic program for low-income children
grades K-8. Our year-round program adds 30% more instructional time to our
students’ academic year and uses a balanced literacy approach to outpace the
gains students would otherwise experience attending their neighborhood schools
Heads Up Site Directors train and manage a corps of college students who lead
literature circles, homework help, and enrichment activities. By fostering a
culture of high expectations with a focus on results, Site Directors increase
student achievement while simultaneously inspiring college students to pursue
careers in education and service. Site Directors also maintain effective
relationships with a variety of stakeholders including students, college tutors,
parents, teachers, and school administrators.

NYC Campus Director Position Opening Now!

April 28, 2010

This is an incredible opportunity to lead an entire program: Coach a team of young educators, partnering with school administration, advocating on behalf of the field of out-of-school time all the while not losing connecting with students…

Citizen Schools is a national education non-profit that partners with middle schools to expand the learning day for children in low-income communities. Campus Directors are the leaders of our dynamic after-school and extended learning program sites nationwide — full-time professionals committed to making our mission of educating youth and strengthening communities a reality every day.

As a Campus Director, you will:

  • Set an instructional vision
  • Lead educators
  • Recruit, train and coach volunteers teaching apprenticeships
  • Build relationships with children and families
  • Work with school administrators and teachers to change school cultures
  • Join an expanding network of committed staff and alumni

If you crave an inspiring, engaging and demanding career move that will provide you with daily opportunities to build skills in leadership, communication, staff management, community building and more, join Citizen Schools as a Campus Director.

To read a more detailed job description, and to apply, please visit: Campus Director Position. You may contact Danielle Wessler at with any questions.

A week’s worth…

March 24, 2010

Has it really been 12 days since our last post??? TeachBreakthroughs is not observing good blogging etiquette. In any case, there’s been a bunch of great articles over the past week we wanted to update you all on:

Charter School debate on NYTimes blog: Geoffrey Canada (Harlem Children’s Zone), Richard D. Kahlenberg (Century Foundation), Jeffrey Henig and Luis Huerta (Teachers College, Columbia) and Michael Goldstein (Match Charter Public School) share their insights on the Charter School debate in New York City.

Some inspiration! In Chicago, the seniors at Urban Prep Academy just learned that their senior prom will be at no cost because 100% of the graduating class is going on to 4 year colleges. As a public Charter School, the school admits students based on a lottery system.

Innovation in our sector: As an innovative national non-profit, Breakthrough is among an incredible group of education non-profits pushing the boundaries of social change.  Check out this paper by the folks at Common Good Careers for a new take on an exciting sector.

Great Teaching in High Need Schools: For years, education reforms have been lamenting economic structural limitations to achieving educational inequity. Perhaps chief among those: great teachers are less likely to work (or stay) in struggling schools in poor neighborhoods. The Brown Center on Education Policy at the Brookings Institute just released a strong paper entitled, “America’s Teacher Corps.” In it they discuss how evaluation and incentives can work hand in hand to make schools better over all and incent great teachers to work in high need schools.

Middle School as The Academic Pivot Point! There’s a reason we focus so closely on the middle school years. The folks at EdSource released a paper on academic outcomes for middle school youth.

Amazing Article on Teacher Training in NYTimes Mag

March 3, 2010

Data Driven Teaching, Assessment Techniques, Incentive Based Teacher Pay Programs, Scaling What Works, Recruitment Strategies, Management vs. Instruction, and a new Teaching Taxonomy are all on the table in Elizabeth Green’s recent article “Building a Better Teacher,” in Sunday’s New York Times Magazine. It’s a great read.

Green’s article focuses on Teacher Training guru and founder of Breakthrough partner Uncommon Schools, Doug Lemov’s journey to name and share his Teacher Taxonomy. His goal: to make a common language for his teachers to use with his students in order to raise student achievement in his network of Charter Schools.

At Breakthrough we’re excited to pilot a standardized Teacher Training model across half of our sites in Summer 2010. We know there is value in a common language and a common set of practices. As we look toward the future, we’re hoping to take part in the work that Lemov is leading.

Take a second to check out the really cool interactive videos on teaching!

Pedro Noguera challenging the Obama Admin

February 23, 2010

Watch this video of Professor of Teaching and Learning, New York University Pedro Noguera giving a bird’s eye of the ed reform movement. Towards the end of the clip, his critique of the Obama Administration’s interest in Charter Schools doesn’t seem too convincing. Think about how much Apple has improved the technology sector after only inhabiting 5% of the personal computer market share through the mid 90s…not to dork out so bad, but innovation that can impact an enture sector may happen more effectively within smaller models. A couple of questions come to mind: Would Michelle Rhee disagree with Pedro in his dismissal of the Charter School Movement? How does smaller scale innovation (like what happens in high achieving small Charter Schools) impact larger systems, especially deeply flawed ones like our public education system? Further, how does innovation happen most effectively in the world of human development vs. technological product?