Founded in 2009, the mission of Teach Plus is to empower excellent, experienced, and diverse teachers to take leadership over key policy and practice issues that advance equity, opportunity, and student success. The organization believes that teachers have a unique position—and unique credibility—at the crossroads of students, families, and communities that make them effective change agents and advocates for equitable policies on behalf of their students. Teach Plus programs recruit, select, train, and support demonstrably effective, solutions-oriented teachers who represent and advocate for the Black, Latino/a, and low-income communities the organizations prioritize. We offer:
- Policy programming, in which they teach teachers how policy works and how they can impact it, offering instructional sessions, connections to policymakers, platforms to share their voice, and a cohort of solutions-oriented colleagues to problem-solve with.
- Practice programming, in which they support teachers as they address problems within their school buildings (in comparison to policy, which focuses on district, state, and national issues).
- Network programming, in which they offer learning sessions, resources, and connections to teachers in a less intensive format that requires less commitment than our aforementioned programs, allowing the organization to reach and mobilize more teachers.
Teach Plus currently has 64 staff members supporting programming in 12 regions across the country: MS, AR, PA, CA, CO, MA, TX, IL, IN, NV, NM, and MI. Each regional team is led by an executive director who builds relationships with local schools and community organizations. Though programming differs in each region to accommodate each community’s needs and context, the key drivers of the programs’ effectiveness remain the same. This regional approach allows each site the flexibility to adapt the organization’s programming to these communities different needs while also providing them all with national supports and open lines of communication to learn from and support one another.
Since 2009, the organization has recruited, trained, and supported over 2,400 teacher leaders in policy- and practice-based programs. These teachers have engaged a broader network of more than 18,000 educators through advocacy activities, teacher-led professional development and convenings, and communication efforts.
Teach Plus Pennsylvania programming is led by Pennsylvania Executive Director Laura Boyce. She oversees all programming in the state, including the Southwestern Pennsylvania-specific Equity Leadership Institute (ELI), run by Pittsburgh resident and Program Director Aaron Johnson. ELI brings together district teams of administrators and teachers who collaboratively use school and district data to design and implement plans to better recruit, support, retain, and grow educators of color.