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The Effective Teaching Program

Leading and Learning

The Teachers21 Effective Teacher program is designed to provide teachers with the strategies, conditions and interactions necessary for understanding and increasing their impact on student learning and engagement. In order for teachers to create the reflective learning culture needed for all students to learn optimally, they must be leaders of the classroom and life-long learners themselves.


We build and immerse teachers in the learning environment we want them to establish, enjoy and model in their own professional practice. Focused on process over product, teachers are giving and receiving feedback, engaging in dialogue around student work, taking risks and experimenting with valid practices, embracing a growth mindset for themselves and others, and learning how to reflect productively on the results of their work. We teach them strategies and techniques to employ in building a similar classroom culture for their students.


In this program

Participants learn and apply the skillful practices that shape the learning core of all classrooms: effective teaching strategies, high functioning teams and rigorous, relevant content.

To deepen these skills teachers learn how to:

  • Implement a cycle of inquiry (assess → learn → plan → teach → repeat) to measure the impact of their actions and use that learning to continually adjust their practice
  • Build and sustain a reflective learning culture by 1) cultivating a growth mindset, 2) developing trust, and 3) providing opportunities and structures for meaningful feedback through dialogue
  • Strategically make decisions, align plans and employ resources around a shared vision and values in order to foster individual and collective accountability.


Essential Questions

In keeping with the four MA DESE standards for effective teaching, the course equips teachers to answer the following essential questions (with a particular emphasis on standards I, II and IV):

  1. Standard I – Curriculum, Planning, and Assessment:  To what degree are my students learning important skills, knowledge, and concepts?
  2. Standard II – Teaching All Students: To what degree are all students invested in the learning?
  3. Standard III – Family and Community Engagement: To what degree are parents partners with educators?
  4. Standard IV – Professional Culture: To what degree is the educator contributing to a culture of continuous improvement?

Focus Areas

Teachers explore and use a range of techniques to engage students and improve collaboration with colleagues as they look at student work, analyze data, and make instructional decisions designed to improve learning.

Throughout the course, participants:

  • employ backward design,
  • build a collaborative approach to their practice, 
  • engage in and form habits around evidence-based reflection, and
  • shift to a student-centered approach to teaching that emphasizes student learning outcomes over teacher behaviors.

All techniques and tools are supported by the research of leading theorists in the field and build on the Common Core State Standards, PARCC Assessments and the 2011 MA Framework for Educator Evaluation.


Learning Outcomes

Reflective Learning Culture and Continuous Improvement Process
  • Seek evidence of teacher effectiveness by shifting focus from teacher behaviors to student learning
  • Develop an array of techniques to check for student understanding on a daily basis – at the beginning, middle and end of lessons
  • Expand and improve mechanisms and skills for providing feedback to students about learning progress as well as capitalizing on and building students’ confidence to attain the learning intentions
  • Learn techniques to actively engage students to set goals, self-assess, and reinvest in their learning
Rigorous Relevant Content
  • Explore unit and lesson planning in relation to standards based teaching and curriculum frameworks utilizing backward planning, Bloom’s Taxonomy, and the Common Core State Standards
Effective Teaching Strategies
  • Acquire strategies to meet the diverse needs of student populations, concentrating on student learning styles, gaining and maintaining the attention and interest of students, and exploring high leverage instructional techniques
  • Establish a climate where students have ownership and investment in the work of the classroom and have clarity about the purpose of the work
  • Gain knowledge in a range of approaches to assessment, including rubrics, portfolios and alternative assessments
  • Build students’ capacity to be assessors of their own progress by integrating student metacognition and self-reflection into the routines of the classroom
  • Build a classroom management system where responsibility for learning and behavior is shared
High Functioning Teams (student and adult)
  • Discover the elements of team dynamics and build the necessary teaming skills of communication and listening
  • Develop collaborative protocols and processes for exploring professional questions or dilemmas, looking at student work, developing goals, and assessing progress


The program can be tailored to meet the needs of new teachers, teachers in need of improvement or any other specific teacher population. No matter the format and duration, it will foster conversations and reflections that lead to improved and inspired learning for all. Contact us or call the office at 781-416-0980 for more information.