TNTP seeks future full-time Directors, ELA to join our Consulting Team in the Southeast Region to work with districts across Tennessee, supporting literacy instruction. These positions will be based from a home office in Tennessee (or within a two-hour driving distance of Tennessee from an adjacent state such as Mississippi, Arkansas, Georgia or North Carolina) and are available in May 2021 (contingent upon funding). Frequent travel of up to 50% will be required, mostly in Tennessee, contingent upon organizational/state/federal travel regulations.
Who We Are
A national nonprofit founded by teachers, TNTP believes our nation’s public schools can offer all children an excellent education. Today we’re a diverse team from a wide range of fields, united by a fierce commitment to helping school systems end educational inequality. We work at every level of the public education system to attract and train talented teachers and school leaders, ensure rigorous and engaging classrooms, and create environments that prioritize great teaching and accelerate student learning.
Staff in TNTP's Consulting Division work alongside teachers, school leaders, districts, and states to help them achieve their goals for students. Our team members working in Tennessee support districts across the state in the implementation of a rigorous vision for ELA instruction through the use of high-quality ELA instructional materials. We support teachers and leaders to build their knowledge of research-based practices in ELA, including a focus on knowledge-building and explicit teaching of foundational skills in the literacy classroom.
What You’ll Do
As a Director, ELA you will lead people and partner with clients on a portfolio of projects, contribute to our academic project, state and/or regional strategy and invest others in strategies that align work on individual projects with broader organizational strategies and goals for students.
Specific responsibilities include:
- Supporting senior district leaders to develop and execute a comprehensive academic strategy that incorporates a focus on curriculum, instruction, assessments, student supports, and other systemic reforms and/or ensuring alignment at every level to the Tennessee Academic Standards.
- Developing, with our partners, theories of action and specific approaches to academic strategy, including support for high-quality instructional materials in ELA that will improve the quality of instruction at scale.
- Leading implementation of research-based materials and practices in ELA, including a focus on knowledge-building and explicit teaching of foundational skills in the literacy classroom.
- Managing the design and implementation of complex projects, strategies, and trainings for district leaders, school leaders, teachers, and other stakeholders to support strong instruction and ensure progress towards ambitious goals that improve outcomes for students at scale.
- Designing and leading compelling and practical professional learning on research-based practices in literacy instruction, topics including knowledge-building instructional materials and the explicit teaching of reading foundational skills.
- Facilitating and/or directly coaching district and school leaders in alignment with academic strategies.
- Cultivating and managing high-level client relationships with senior district/network leaders and other critical stakeholders such as school leaders and teachers.
- Supporting districts in designing and building systems to monitor their progress against their academic and strategic priorities, and creating high-quality, data-driven reports demonstrating the effect of the team’s approaches on quality of instruction.
- Leading the customization and implementation of diagnostics that support clients in clarifying and identifying academic and strategic priorities.
- Aligning district systems, resources, and structures to support evolving program/project strategies.
- Bringing excellent management skills, including experience effectively managing diverse teams, building inclusive team culture, and growing and developing staff to be successful in their work and career.
- Generating new ideas for services, partnerships, and projects, including contributing to/writing proposals for new work in alignment with state and regional strategy.
What You Bring
First and foremost, we are looking for amazing people who have diverse backgrounds and experiences, are inspired by our mission, and are highly motivated to change children's lives through education. We value diversity of ethnicity, race, socioeconomic status, sexual identity, gender, religion, language, ability, and experience and exemplify this through the makeup of our team at all levels. You'll be right at home here if you cultivate strong relationships and push yourself, your work, and the people around you to the next level. We encourage those with the following identities to apply: Black, Latinx, Asian American, and Pacific Islander, local Indigenous people, LGBTQIA+ and non-binary people, people living with disabilities, and others with lived experience being part of marginalized communities.
We expect our Directors of Academics to:
- Have a passion and understanding of the education landscape and communities. You bring deep background knowledge in the current education landscape and a passion for embedding community engagement and involving communities in our work.
- Know great teaching and learning when you see it. Whether you are watching how students engage during a lesson or looking at student performance data, you can identify whether students are grappling with the right content and diagnose what needs to happen to improve student learning outcomes immediately and in the long-term. You understand how to employ research-based instructional strategies and content approaches aligned with rigorous standards for students, teachers, school leaders, and district staff and how the different elements of the standards (the research, the shifts, the standards, etc.) work together. You know high-quality instructional materials in ELA and can support partners in their implementation at the classroom and school level.
- Ensure academic systems are coherent and support rigorous instruction. Excellent teaching and learning is not an accident—it happens when leaders set clear expectations, provide coaching and resources that reinforce the vision, and align the other academic elements that support strong instruction. Whether it is working with a school or a district, you can diagnose gaps in academic systems and recommend ways in which they can be adjusted to reflect the desired expectations.
- Translate your instructional knowledge and ELA content expertise. We’re counting on your strong public presentation skills, ability to assess and adjust to the learning needs of your audience, and ability to communicate complex information to a variety of audiences, including teachers, school leaders, and district staff. You have a vision for the sequence of learning that all stakeholders—district leaders, school leaders, teachers, etc—need in order to improve the academic experience of students.
- Innovate and implement solutions to complex challenges. You have a history of engaging with high stakes challenges directly and successfully. Ambiguity doesn’t overwhelm you; just the opposite, you thrive on it. Your creative instincts will help you deal with vague situations and develop new approaches with limited guidance.
- Sweat the details. You’ll use your strong organizational and project management skills to execute and move our work toward ambitious goals.
- Partner with education leaders. You’ll regularly interact with, and be expected to influence clients, motivating and guiding them to lead transformative change efforts.
- Build relationships. You have the ability to connect and build relationships with diverse communities. Bilingual abilities are a plus, Spanish language preferred.
- Model cross-cultural agility. Authentic self-reflection, self- awareness, and high emotional intelligence are central to who you are, and you utilize these skills to shape a culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion, that influences how you think about your work. You have an adept cultural understanding of yourself and use your understanding of yourself and others to build trusting relationships with direct reports, colleagues, and clients.
- Champion Your People. One of your greatest responsibilities and privileges will be to grow and develop incredible people toward ambitious goals. You’re an inclusive leader, that honors diverse perspectives and makes the most of your team’s and individual’s unique strengths.
- Deep knowledge of content and instruction in literacy, particularly with highly-rated ELA instructional materials, with at least five years Pre-K-12 teaching experience, preferably in high-need schools or with high-need populations, and a proven track record of raising student achievement
- Proven success coaching other leaders and teachers, preferably at the district/system level.
- Strong familiarity and expertise with the Tennessee Academic Standards, in literacy, including: (1) Experience as a lead practitioner in a school system that has adopted the Tennessee Academic Standards and/or a deep conceptual understanding of the instructional shifts in ELA, (2) Experience with the role of complex text in ELA instruction and research-based approaches to foundational literacy skills and the major work of each grade, and (3) Experience using high-quality ELA curricular materials and knowledge of how the curriculum supports strong, rigorous instruction
- Previous experience developing and facilitating adult learning/training