Center for Inspired Teaching

About Us

Center for Inspired Teaching is an independent nonprofit organization that invests in and supports teachers. Inspired Teaching provides transformative, improvisation-based professional learning for teachers that is 100% engaging – intellectually, emotionally, and physically.

Our Vision

A future in which every person is prepared to thrive in and contribute to our complex and rapidly changing world, through an education that teaches students how to think, not what to think.

Our Mission

Create radical change in the school experience — away from compliance and toward authentic engagement.

Aleta Margolis, Founder & President

As a classroom teacher myself I saw the amazing changes that happened when students were asked to think for themselves instead of sitting passively while their teacher ‘delivered’ instruction. I knew teachers were the key to building a better school experience for students. So I started Center for Inspired Teaching in 1995 to invest in teachers and help them re-think the way they do their jobs.

During her time as a teacher in the 1990s, Aleta had a realization: The education system was failing to prepare students to face the challenges of our complex and rapidly changing world. The system did not value creativity, academic exploration, or even engagement in the learning process; rather, it prioritized order, self-control, and compliance.

After graduating college, Aleta taught high school students in the juvenile justice system. Her students had few chances to talk about the problems that plagued their city: The drug epidemic, gun violence, and gang violence. In her classroom, her court-involved students examined the system that disadvantaged them, and together they wrote, produced, and performed a powerful play that offered concrete solutions to the issues they faced.

Aleta knew the same systematic educational inequities that disadvantaged her own students, affected students nationwide. She saw first-hand that teachers have the power to construct classrooms systems in which each student is an expert and has a voice. Aleta wanted to make this a reality for every child’s school experience in the entire education system. As a teacher, Aleta recognized that teachers are the key to ensuring schools actively and authentically engage young people so they are able to thrive. This prompted her to shift her own focus from teaching students to teaching teachers.

Learn more about Aleta and the rest of the Inspired Teaching team here

 

Inspired Teaching gave me real activities that stimulate learners and engage them. The idea that practice and skills are every bit as important as content gets lost in education – this reinforced and put to the forefront what I think education should achieve.

— Inspired Teaching Academy Participant
September Inspired Teaching Institute

Teachers can’t control what happens between the time students wake up and when they arrive at school but they have a lot of control over what happens when students cross the classroom threshold. Participants in this fast-paced, idea-rich Institute will learn 20 different strategies for starting the school day!