A compelling vision for education — a people-centered purpose
As humans, we need and want to explore and understand the world around us — to learn. That’s why we wrote The Elephant in the (Class)room. It reminds us that we’re all learners.
The Elephant trumpets that teaching and learning is a beautifully dynamic, relational human exchange. And that our humanity is the beating heart of our classrooms and every corner of the ecosystem we call “school.”
Today, we’re excited to share The Elephant in the (Class)room with you.
It’s a compelling vision for education — a people-centered purpose. Together with our 23-person National Equity Commission — a group of living experts, researchers, and nonprofit leaders representing our priority student populations — we co-designed The Elephant with humanness as our keystone.
Our journey to co-create The Elephant emphasized storytelling, reflection, and liberatory design. And it is still ongoing. There is no single universal tactic that will accelerate us to thriving, rigorous learning experiences for every stakeholder in education. Equity is a practice, not a destination.
But The Elephant gives us a true North. A compass that bridges the science of learning and development with ensuring people in all their diversity are at the heart of everything we do. It’s a commitment to affirming, just, and rigorous instruction working side-by-side with students and families to self-actualize the innate talents, gifts, and skills that make each young person incredible.
The Elephant is also a call to create humanizing, liberating professional learning experiences for teachers — spaces that give educators everything they need and deserve, heart and mind, to meaningfully engage students and sustain themselves in a complicated, pandemic-shaped future.
The Elephant isn’t about getting stuck on the problem. Quite the opposite. We are calling out the root cause by fully and honestly acknowledging where we are — and where we’ve been. But we are also calling the field in with an invitation to shape a new vision and purpose for public education. One that protects and fulfills the promise of our democracy. Central to this work is a call to:
Embrace teaching and learning as a dynamic relational human exchange
Expand the concept of educator and community in schools
Interested in learning more? Send us a line and we'll be sure to help.
February 15, 2023
NTC Welcomes New Chief of Staff
New Teacher Center (NTC) is pleased to announce that Feliza I. Ortiz-Licon, Ed.D., has joined the organization as our chief of staff. Her role is to provide leadership in the executive office, advocate for NTC stakeholders, and align strategic priorities with enterprise-level work to advance our mission.
December 14, 2022
A Reflection on the Year
As we turn the page on 2022, I’m so grateful for the determined and dedicated group of changemakers we partner with both within NTC and across the nation. In my early tenure at NTC, I am heartened and guided by the compassion and wisdom of our staff, partners, supporters, and others leading this movement. You are the heart of our community, and our collective work is an example of the sustained equity practice we must all engage in in service to our young people.
December 11, 2022
Teachers, Students, and the Testing Pendulum
We explore the following questions: How might a through-year assessment system more effectively serve the primary purpose of assessment: improving teaching, instruction, and student learning? And how will this shift be experienced by those most commonly shouldering the weight of educational shifts - teachers and students?