A moment bigger than all of us.
New Teacher Center’s interim co-CEOs Atyani Howard and Arthur Mills IV outline the progress and organizational momentum driving us toward our ambitious goals for 2022 and beyond. The time for educational equity is now; students, educators, and communities deserve thriving schools where everyone’s future burns bright.
Today we sit in a place that feels both familiar and different. The pain, uncertainty, and anxiety of the last 20+ months — from the pandemic to stark inequities and much more — can make the prospects of a brighter future seem distant.
But continued and new challenges for millions of young people, teachers, school leaders, and families spotlight the urgency of this moment in education. Our students and educators need to see, feel, and believe that we’re fighting to make optimal learning environments — thriving schools where everyone succeeds in heart and mind — the norm.
This is a remarkable time for NTC. Our revitalized mission, relentless commitment, strategic priorities, and deep intentionality position us as never before to achieve a new vision for schools. We’re proud to serve as interim co-CEOs of an organization that prioritizes the rich humanity of education. NTC continues to grow: in 2021 we partnered with more than 437 school districts to serve 18,800 educators and 2.2 million students. Our work spans 28 states and marshals resources from our funding partners and federal grants to carry forward a diverse and innovative portfolio of work that includes new teacher induction, curriculum implementation, school leadership development, and equity-centered instructional practice.
NTC’s five-year strategic plan is underway, and our priorities focus our efforts to center students at every turn of our work and partnerships.
Incredibly, despite the challenges of the last few years, we’ve built tremendous momentum. We are excited to see it through. Steps to reinvigorate NTC’s time-tested and research-proven professional learning approaches have heightened our focus on serving our five prioritized student communities: BIPOC students, immigrant students, students with learning differences, students experiencing poverty, and English-language learners. Everything we’re doing today, and in the months ahead, will strengthen our ability to put systemically underserved students and equity at the center of teaching and learning.
As co-CEOs, we recognize (and value) the unique capacity of shared leadership. True to our coaching-for-change model, we’re blending our strengths and leveraging our assets so that we’re catalysts for sustainability and innovation. Our more than two-year partnership in the service of NTC’s mission elevates the many initiatives we’ve undertaken together to build and empower infrastructure to ensure maximum impact for districts, educators, and students. We’ll continue to expand NTC’s flexibility and efficiency to meet the needs of our partners as new challenges arise.
That includes the incredible work of our 23-member Equity Commission, working to articulate a new vision for student-and equity-centered education. Their critical effort will hold NTC accountable, vetting our coaching offerings to ensure a laser focus on disrupting educational inequity at every turn.
It also includes reinvigorating and continuing our research-proven coaching model to build educator capacity in instructional practices that support our five priority student communities. With instruction as a lever for equity, coaching will address the inextricable link between students’ identities, social-emotional well-being, and academic needs.
We will continue to evolve and disrupt professional learning, democratizing access to world-class experts and thought leaders in equity- and student-centered instruction. Our forthcoming Direct-to-Educator is teacher-driven and online. It provides access to high-quality learning, personalized coaching and feedback, and a deep connection to a community of peers sharpening their instructional craft.
And to support these efforts and meet this moment, we will grow our team of incredibly passionate and talented team members. Our look outward starts inward. We continue to cultivate a welcoming, inclusive, and accountable culture where everyone at NTC can thrive professionally and personally. The journey ahead to live into our powerfully compelling mission and vision is a long one. We move forward with confidence — financially and organizationally stronger than we’ve ever been — to sustain our impact for years to come.
At the heart of everything we do is our exceptional NTC staff. They bring our core values to life:
- Lead with equity
- Empower students and communities
- Act with courage
- Foster belonging
- Stay curious
Our staff are leaders and coaches, changemakers and teammates. It’s a privilege to lead them and work side-by-side in pursuit of advancing equity. Their hard work leads to improved outcomes and experiences for our partners. Without question, NTC’s team is talented, empathetic, and the reason we’ve been able to achieve the extraordinary.
Interim Co-CEOs Atyani Howard and Arthur Mills IV
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This week, our offices will close for a much-needed break. A core part of our approach to professional learning is embracing and nurturing the wellness of our educators. That goes for our staff too. We’ll take some time for the things and people that bring us joy and fill our cups to sustain our work for the long haul.