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This has been nothing like what I’ve experienced before in professional development. Inspired Teaching’s program has been fantastic!

— 2014 SCALE Teacher Leader
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Apr 24 03:45 pm

Congratulations to 2 of our Real World History internship sites, @LincolnsCottage and @NMAAHC, for winning @wcp Best of DC Awards!
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July 2015

Instigator of Thought – July 2015

Letter from Aleta Margolis, Executive Director

I have the great pleasure of spending most of this month at the Inspired Teaching Institutes, getting to know the outstanding new and experienced teachers who have begun the joyful, challenging work of deepening their practice as Inspired Teachers over the coming year. We teach our teachers to transform their role in the classroom, from deliverers of knowledge to Instigators of Thought®.

An Instigator of Thought asks more questions than she answers. She supports her students as they undergo a productive struggle more than she solves problems for them. An Instigator of Thought creates a safe learning environment and then encourages his students to take risks and move out of their comfort zone.

Over the intensive four weeks of training that kicks off our time together, we act as Instigators of Thought ourselves, modeling our expectations for teachers. Questioning is our primary strategy to provoke deep learning. We guide teachers through the Inspired Teaching 5 Step Process. [Continue reading.]

. . .

PREPARE, SHIFT, MODEL: 2015 Summer Institutes 

This July, cohorts of Inspired Teaching Fellows and Teacher Leaders in BLISS: Building Literacy in the Social Studies and SCALE: Science Curriculum Advancement through Literacy Enhancement joined Inspired Teaching for intensive professional development that is intellectually, emotionally, and physically engaging. As part of our work to shift teacher mindset and practice, Inspired Teaching pushes educators – new and experienced – to challenge their beliefs about teaching and learning through a 5 Step Process:

Step 1. Analyze and deepen my understanding of the ways I learn.


Teachers reflect on their past learning experiences, examining how their experiences as young students shaped them as adults and educators.

Step 2. Articulate and defend my philosophy of teaching and learning, including what I believe about children. 


Participants explore their own teaching experience and listen to the teaching reflections of others.


They review, discuss, and analyze research on best practices, instructional standards, and pedagogy.

Step 3. Make the connection to classroom practice. 


Teachers explore instructional design, lesson planning, and goal setting.


They develop new strategies to ensure their philosophy of teaching and learning matches what they do in the classroom.

Step 4. Build the skills of effective teachers, including listening, questioning, observing, and communicating. 


Participants re-examine the power of instructional tools, such as questions.


And challenge themselves to use these tools more effectively through activities like teaching a skill while only asking questions.

Step 5. Practice! 


For those participants working directly with students this summer, classroom application of these new strategies has already begun.


It’s one step of many as these educators and Inspired Teachers everywhere work to build a better school experience for all students.

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COMMUNICATE, leverage, and elevate: 

– On July 7, 2014 SCALE Teacher Leader Eileen Pascucci was awarded Teacher of the Year by the Nation’s Capital Chapter of the Air Force Association.

– On August 5 and 6, school leaders from across Washington, DC are invited to join Inspired Teaching and the Office of the State Superintendent of Education for a citywide STEM Leadership Academy for Principals.

– As we look forward to school year 2015-16, take a moment to read Inspired Teaching’s 2014 Annual Report and review the supporters and programs of the past year.

– Center for Inspired Teaching is proud to partner with the Library of Congress through the Real World History program.

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VISIT Inspired Teaching: 

Program Visits:

Inspired Teacher Certification Program
July 30, 2-3:30 pm

Join the 2014 Inspired Teaching Fellows for a culminating display of summer school student work at a “Celebration of Student Learning.”

For more information and to RSVP, please contact Sammy Magnuson at

1436 U Street, NW, Suite 400, Washington, DC 20009 · p: 202-462-1956 / f: 202-462-1905

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