transforming teaching.

Unless DC can attract, develop, and retain enough great teachers—particularly in the wake of the pandemic—an excellent, equitable education system will remain out of reach.

Transforming Teaching

Today’s teachers are isolated, under-respected, overburdened, and mired in a rigid system ruled by the bell. They are also the single most important school-based factor in student learning and success. DC schools need to consider transforming the teacher role to set up teachers—and their students—for success.

District and LEA leaders can pull school system levers—hiring, curriculum, schedules, technology, use of space, etc.—to redesign current systems, creating teaching roles that are more attractive and sustainable and more likely to contribute to students’ success.

CityBridge knows DC schools cannot go through the arduous process of redesign alone. We commit to co-design, coordinate, and fund 50 school-level design projects to transform teaching over the next five years.

CityBridge supports LEA and school leaders interested in transforming teaching through the following programs:

Are you a LEA or school leader ready to transform teaching? Contact us.

Inspiration PLC

The Transforming Teaching Inspiration Professional Learning Community (PLC) is for school-based decision-makers seeking inspiration to address a growing issue—success and retention in the teaching role. During this four-session virtual series, participants learn about national and local models that reimagine teaching and begin to explore possibilities at your school.

Design workshops

The Transforming Teaching Design Workshop prepares school teams to reconfigure their school to sustain and grow teachers. During this workshop series, participants analyze how to change systems, build coalitions, shift mindsets, and connect with design partners. 

Transforming Teaching Partners

ASU-Next Education Workforce
Opportunity Culture
Teacher Powered Schools
ASU-Next Education Workforce

The ASU Next Education Workforce approach means building teams of educators, each with specialized roles, and sharing responsibility for the learning and development of a shared roster of students across those teammates.


Coursemojo offers live, synchronous classes for secondary schools in hard-to-staff subjects. These include dual-credit and Advanced Placement classes, as well as high-interest electives.

Opportunity Culture

Opportunity Culture is an initiative to extend the reach of the most effective teachers by having them lead teams of other teachers in their school. These Multi-Classroom Leaders, or MCLs, directly manage teams of two to eight other teachers in the same grade or subject—including co-planning, co-teaching, coaching, and even modeling instruction in team members’ classrooms.

Teacher Powered Schools

Teacher-powered schools are schools where teachers exercise significant collective autonomy over the school program, personnel, and school administration.

Center City Public Charter Schools
Center City Public Charter Schools

Center City Public Charter Schools empower students for lifelong success by building strong character, promoting academic excellence, and generating public service throughout Washington, DC.

A Call for Redesign

School plays a crucial role in the lives of children beyond the business of learning. School provides much-needed stability, socialization, and supervision. For many students, school is where basic needs are met: Prior to the pandemic, 77% of DC children relied on free or reduced-price school meals for the nutrition they need to learn and grow.

At the heart of this system is the teacher, for whom expectations and responsibilities have continually increased, even as the classroom environment has remained relatively unchanged for decades. Teachers are burnt out and increasingly leaving the profession.

Teachers are the most important school-based factor for student achievement and growth. To attract and retain the great teachers our children deserve, we must redesign how teaching is structured.

Following rigorous research, a canvas of alternative models, and extensive conversations with practitioners in the field, we identified four design principles that address common pain points experienced by teachers that must shift to allow for transformational change.

Common Pain Points

Design Principle



Integrated teams of teachers, staff, and (potentially) community members work together to meet educational and developmental needs of groups of students.



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.



Teachers move from being jacks-of-all-trades to taking on specific roles in supporting student learning and growth. Training and career pathways open opportunities (including leadership) for teachers and staff.



By focusing on impactful activities and employing technology, teachers can gain more flexibility in how they use time, allowing them to strategically prioritize, the way other types of busy professionals do.

Fifty schools represent 25% of our city’s schools—a share that would have a significant impact on the ecosystem and inspire a ripple effect of innovation. If we start this work now, DC can lead the nation in transforming teaching at scale.

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