Senior Project Director, Transforming Teaching Portfolio

CityBridge Education - Washington, District of Columbia - Full time

ORGANIZATIONAL OVERVIEW

CityBridge Education’s vision is for the nation’s capital to be the first city-level proof point for an excellent, equitable education system. A Washington, DC-based nonprofit, we incubate the people, ideas, and conversations needed for equity-centered innovation in DC’s public schools and social enterprises. We do this by identifying talented leaders and school designers who can solve the educational needs and challenges of DC families, deploying particular effort to recruiting leaders of color. We then incubate and invest in the best of their ideas and, together, bring to market the next generation of transformational public schools and education ventures.

POSITION SUMMARY

CityBridge’s Transforming Teaching Portfolio aims to make the teaching profession more sustainable and teachers more successful in schools across DC. As the Senior Project Director focused on DCPS, you will work with DCPS central office staff members, school leaders, and teachers to drive forward planning, piloting, and implementation of new models of teaching. (Another Project Director will work with charter LEAs.) You will play a lead, external-facing role, resolving tough challenges while staying true to the new vision of the profession. As a colleague at CityBridge, you will actively steward our brand, our standard of excellence, and commitment to equity in all that you do.

The Senior Project Director reports to the CEO of CityBridge and will collaborate with and be supported by key CityBridge staff in strategic planning, design work, and continuous improvement. In addition, though the Senior Project Director will be a CityBridge employee, we anticipate that they will serve in almost an in-house “contractor” capacity at DCPS, with access to DCPS central office and schools and to a DCPS email account (along with a CityBridge email account).

This full-time, term-limited position is projected to last for two years, with the possibility of an extension contingent upon funding. It is a DC-based position and requires living in the Metropolitan DC area and working in-person in CityBridge and the DCPS central office multiple days per week. Preferred start date is early January 2023.

The Problem

The teaching profession no longer attracts or retains the quality and diversity of talent our students deserve. We expect our teachers to take on an increasingly complex set of tasks but have organized the work of teaching to make it all but impossible for them to succeed. As a result, more and more teachers across the country as well as here in DC are feeling burned out and are resigning. Meanwhile, both traditional and alternative route teacher preparation programs face dwindling enrollment. The burden falls particularly hard on BIPOC teachers, who often teach in under-resourced schools and may experience less support and opportunities for advancement than their White peers. Teaching lacks the flexibility, autonomy, and pathways for specialization and leadership that professionals deserve. There are better ways to organize the profession—ones that will both inspire teachers and better serve students.

Building a New Vision for the Profession

There is no one-size-fits-all template for how teaching must be altered. But we do know the direction we must go in order for the profession to become a destination for talent and to fulfill its promise for students.

In Washington, DC, where the overwhelming majority of students are Black and Latinx, it is imperative that efforts to restructure the teacher role attract and retain BIPOC teachers. An equity lens must be consistently trained on this work, beginning with centering the concerns, creativity, and acumen of BIPOC teachers themselves.

We believe that any serious effort to restructure the role should be built on the following design principles:

- Shared responsibility: Rather than place the entire burden of education on a single adult in a classroom, integrated teams of teachers, staff, and (potentially) community members work together to meet the educational and developmental needs of groups of students.

- Professional Trust: Schools invest trust in teachers as professionals, heeding their voice and providing them with meaningful opportunities to influence and shape the core functions of school. The wisdom and perspective of BIPOC teachers are given due weight.

- Specialization: Asking teachers to be jacks of all trades means they cannot specialize in the parts of the role they are best at and most passionate about. Widening the range of specialization opens up more training and career pathways (including leadership) for teachers and staff.

- Workday flexibility: The tyranny of the bell schedule not only prevents teachers from sequencing their workday to provide the best instruction, it also deprives them of the flexibility granted other professionals. By divvying up work and employing technology, teachers can use their time to maximize impact on student learning and development.

Ultimately, we aim to partner with 50 schools in 5 years—half of which will be in DCPS—in order to drive the system changes necessary to sustain and expand the work of transforming teaching along these lines.

CORE RESPONSIBILITIES

You will play a significant role in launching the Transforming Teaching Portfolio in the following ways:

1. Co-designer (40%)

You will work with DCPS central office staff and designated school representatives for SY 2023-24 to enact significant changes to the teaching role in multiple classrooms (e.g., across a grade level or a content area). CityBridge has identified and vetted Design Partners with deep experience in this work and whose vision for teaching aligns with our own. As part of the co-design process, you will work to ensure that the perspectives of educators—particularly BIPOC educators—are surfaced and their contributions incorporated into the pilots. You will take an approach informed by the principles of equityXdesign, which demand designing “with, not for” the people most impacted by the changes envisioned by the pilots.

2. Problem-solver (40%)

The current design of teaching is buttressed by key school structure “levers”—budget, teacher evaluation, space, schedule, and so forth. You will help central office and school leaders identify which levers need to be pulled and in which ways to support the pilots’ success and ultimately to transform teaching across the designated schools. You will help school leaders move obstacles and identify opportunities for different allocations of resources.

3. Ambassador (15%)

Beginning in spring 2023 and continuing through the following school year, CityBridge will work with DCPS to spread the word to other DCPS school leaders to inspire them to consider making substantial changes to the teaching role in their schools, as well. You will work with your CityBridge colleagues to share with other stakeholders what you have learned in your work, and to help more schools start on a path of co-designing and piloting new models for teaching.

4. Learning & Innovation (5%)

Centering our organizational values of Abundant Possibility and Rigorous Growth, CityBridge strives to protect the time and space for every team member to learn (to get expert in their field, to grow professionally, to progress on their equity journey) and to innovate (ideating and stretching to try out new strategies, approaches, responsibilities).

COMPETENCIES, EXPERIENCE & MINDSETS FOR SUCCESS:

- 10+ years of experience in urban public education (DCPS preferred), with at least two years serving as a leader in a district central office role required

- Demonstrated track-record of leading successful efforts to simultaneously drive significant structural change across multiple school campuses in an LEA

- Deep understanding of how systems and policies governing schedule, budget, curriculum, and so forth shape how teachers experience their roles

- Deep commitment to racial equity as evidenced by a track record of creating a sense of belonging and by overcoming practices that exclude and diminish people based on their identity, particularly their racial identity

- Accurate sense of strengths and growth areas and capacity for responding effectively to feedback

- Excellent, clear, and persuasive written and verbal communication skills

- Proven capacity for quantitative and qualitative analysis, drawing on data from multiple sources to generate insights and inform strategy

- Highly skilled facilitator

- Proven project leadership and management skills; ability to prioritize issues strategically and organize time effectively

- Demonstrated facility in building trusting relationships and in mobilizing others to advance the work

- Ability to work effectively with people with diverse interests and perspectives

- Success in distributing leadership, such that colleagues and partners feel ownership and accept accountability for tackling important aspects of work on a project or initiative

- Comfort with—and a track record of driving success through—high levels of ambiguity and change, and interest in fast-paced start-up environment

CityBridge has a mandatory vaccination policy with the requirement that all employees be "up to date" on their COVID-19 vaccines unless they qualify for an exemption based on a medical condition, sincere religious beliefs, or other categories protected by applicable federal, state, and local law.

TOTAL REWARDS PACKAGE:

The starting salary range for this position is $150,000–$180,000, commensurate with experience. We offer a comprehensive benefits package including health (medical, dental, vision) insurance and 401(k) matching. Our total rewards package strives to meet our team’s intersectional needs around wellness, work-life balance, and flexibility, as well: We offer unlimited vacation days, 30+ annual paid holidays including office-wide Mental Health Days, flexibility to work remotely several days a week, early dismissal Summer Fridays, pre-tax commuter benefits, an annual professional development allocation, free access to the Watergate’s fitness facility, discounted gym memberships, and more.

APPLY

To apply, please submit a cover letter, resume, and writing sample. The writing sample should demonstrate your capacity for clear communication and should be related to education. A link to complete a brief one-way video interview to finalize your application will be emailed to you shortly after you submit your written application materials via the application portal; please note that your application is not complete without the one-way video interview. The application deadline is Friday, November 11, 2022.

The hiring process will include an initial phone interview; performance task; final interview day with core team members, our CEO, and a cross-section of CityBridge staff; and reference checks.

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Role

Project Management

Experience Level

Senior Level

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