- History & Future
- Our Mission and Model
- Our Team & Opportunities
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The Inspired Teaching Institute is a valuable and thought-provoking experience. I spent a lot of time reflecting, thinking, and reconsidering what I believe about teaching.
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How did Center for Inspired Teaching get its start?
In 1995, Executive Director Aleta Margolis, then a professor in American University’s School of Education, acted on her “divine dissatisfaction” with the state of teaching and learning. Aleta launched the first Inspired Teaching Institute to fundamentally change the way participating teachers viewed their role in the classroom. She went on to create Inspired Teaching to invest in teachers and help them rethink way they do their jobs.
Learn more about Inspired Teaching’s history.
What does Inspired Teaching do?
With the goal of making engagement-based education the norm for all students, Inspired Teaching® shifts the role of the teacher through transformative teacher training, investing in school systems and in teachers at all stages of their careers to make lasting improvements. Our programs are aligned around our plan to Prepare, Shift, Model.
Prepare New Teachers
Our 24-month, state accredited Inspired Teacher Certification Program selects, prepares, supports, and certifies exceptional individuals to teach in the District of Columbia. Through our residency model, Inspired Teaching Fellows spend their first year studying and working alongside lead teachers. In their second year, Fellows become teachers of record in their own classrooms in DCPS and DC public charter schools and begin their long-term commitment to the teaching profession.
Shift the Practice of Current Teachers
We’re shifting teacher practice through our flagship program, the Inspired Teaching Institute, a yearlong professional development program that challenges teachers of all grades and academic subjects to build student achievement and meet standards in creative and effective ways.
Model Inspired Teaching in Action
Inspired Teaching’s instructional philosophy is modeled in the classrooms of our program participants and program graduates. In 2011, we opened the Inspired Teaching Demonstration Public Charter School, a separate 501(c)(3) organization, to serve as a demonstration site, implementing Inspired Teaching’s instructional model in every classroom. In school year 2014-15, Inspired Teaching opened Real World History, a unique history course open to public high school students across DC, which combines academic coursework with internships at historic partner sites.
Learn more about Inspired Teaching’s innovative instructional model.
How do you transform teachers into Instigators of Thought®?
Inspired Teaching’s professional development model engages teachers intellectually, emotionally, and physically, improving their ability to help students reach their full potential. Our approach to professional development is based on our knowledge and expertise of what it takes for students and teachers to succeed in an inquiry-based learning environment. We introduce proven techniques to engage all students in active learning, and help teachers apply those lessons on their own classrooms.
By ensuring they have excellent teachers, Inspired Teaching has a direct impact on children and teenagers across Washington, DC. Our teachers teach in all 8 wards of DC, reaching students citywide.
Learn more about Inspired Teaching 5 Step Process for teacher training.
How do you recognize an “Inspired Teacher?”
Inspired Teachers build students’ skills in the 4 I’s – Intellect, Inquiry, Imagination, and Integrity® – in classrooms containing 5 Core Elements:
- Mutual Respect;
- Student as Expert;
- Purpose, Persistence, and Action;
- Joy; and
- Wide-Ranging Evidence of Student Learning.
Learn more about the 5 Core Elements of Inspired Teaching.
How do you measure your impact?
Inspired Teaching employs a rigorous, evidence-based approach to research and program evaluation that includes classroom observations, statistically validated beliefs and attitudes surveys, and ethnographic techniques.
Data demonstrate that Inspired Teaching’s innovative approach to teacher professional development successfully accomplishes three goals:
1. Students achieve at high levels as a result of challenging, engaging, student-centered instruction.
2. School becomes a place where children thrive and adults and children find joy in their work.
3. Educators take ownership and become agents of sustained change in their classrooms, schools, and beyond.
Learn more about Inspired Teaching’s impact.
How are you funded?
Center for Inspired Teaching is supported by a diverse funding base of local and national foundations, corporations, individual donors, government grants, and earned income.
Learn more about how you can support Inspired Teaching.
What are your future plans?
Building on our 20-year track record of training teachers, Inspired Teaching is ready to take collective action in order to shift the education norm from compliance to engagement. The traditional, compliance-based education system is failing students. Yet compliance will remain the norm until a coalition of educators and corporate, government, and nonprofit partners creates both the demand for and supply of teachers and school leaders who embrace engagement-based education. In the future, Inspired Teaching will continue to transform the practice of teachers, supporting our strong base in Washington, DC while also expanding our scope to focus on building widespread institutional support for engagement-based teaching.
Learn more about Inspired Teaching’s strategic plans.