Model & Strategy

Teaching Lab’s mission is to shift the paradigm of teacher professional learning for educational equity. Teaching Lab’s values center on a commitment to antiracism and the pursuit of racial equity in education. In partnership with thousands of teachers, Teaching Lab transforms professional learning from the ground up to dramatically improve student outcomes.

Their approach reflects a revolutionary research-based model that is focused on improving teacher practice through the adoption of high-quality curriculum, professional learning that is designed to incorporate opportunities to change and improve instructional practices while also addressing teacher mindsets which can lead to more equitable outcomes, and through building community buy-in and new leaders within schools.

Teaching Lab partners directly with school communities to create “Labs” within schools and school systems. Labs are groups of 10-25 educators teaching similar content. These Labs are led by Lab Leaders who are experienced teachers and instructional coaches from within the schools which ensures that they are building the capacity for sustained instructional improvements within every school building.

Teaching Lab logo
At a Glance
Founded: 2016
Current CEO: Sarah Johnson
Education
Location of work: Domestic
Teaching Lab
Washington DC,
Head. Heart. Habits.
A young black female teacher works at a desk in a school
Teaching Lab entrepreneur Sarah Johnson
Meet Sarah Johnson

Sarah Johnson was a trained scientist who decided to forgo a career in science after working as a teaching assistant and falling in love with teaching and learning. As a passionate public high school science teacher in DC and Oakland, she witnessed schools and school systems that failed to adequately serve students or teachers. For a time, she believed that the only way to truly transform teaching and learning was to dismantle a system that deprofessionalized teaching and, in turn, failed to provide all students with equitable access to educational opportunities.

Sarah was one of 25 leaders accepted to Harvard’s Educational Leadership Doctoral program where she studied systems-level leadership and developed a more nuanced understanding of how to engage in systems-change. She also worked directly with the Deputy Chancellor of Teaching and Learning in the New York City school system, helping to manage a division of 600 educators and rolling out continuous improvement initiatives to hundreds of educators and schools.

As a funder, Sarah was compelled by the vision of Teaching Lab’s co-founders, Max Wagner and Silas Kulkarni, helped provide early funding to them and then started to lead the organization in the fall of 2018. Through these experiences, she developed a vision for professionalizing teaching focused on ensuring teachers, like scientists, are given opportunities to understand and use the science behind learning and instruction while also engaging in ongoing growth through cycles of learning. She knows that none of this will happen unless we treat teachers like humans who deserve opportunities for growth and leadership starting on day one and extending throughout their careers. If we fail to see the “whole teacher,” we will not see or serve the “whole student.”

IMPACT

During the 2019-20 school year, Teaching Lab partnered with over 30 school systems across 12 states, developing the leadership capacity of over 4,000 teachers and impacting more than 316,000 students.

Teaching Lab has an evidence-based approach to professional learning (PL). Over the course of 2019-20, Teaching Lab collected the following evidence of impact:

-92% of participants agreed or strongly agreed that they are satisfied with “the overall quality of today’s professional learning session.”

-Teachers improved in the categories of having high expectations and racial equity mindsets by 33% between beginning and end of year.

 

-In Louisiana, where Teaching Lab serves 35% of the total student population:

  • 49.9% of Teaching Lab students showed top growth in ELA, compared to 46.2% of students in non-Teaching Lab school systems.
  • 44.3% of Teaching Lab students in our partner sites demonstrated mastery in ELA, compared to 38.6% in non-Teaching Lab school systems.
  • Committed to the rigorous evaluation of their work, Teaching Lab has developed a best-in-class learning and research strategy and aligned data-management system.
  • New research from CPRL at @ColumbiaLaw includes a series of findings and implications from pandemic learning and ma… https://t.co/t9nRc2xVS9
  • RT @OnlySJJ: Couldn’t have said it better. Appreciate @teachcardona for naming how teachers are important for community building and, reall…
  • The Center for Public Research and Leadership at @ColumbiaLaw released a report that reveals the importance of prov… https://t.co/eJUrq3S9co
  • “Math literacy is a civil right. Just as Black people in Mississippi saw the vote as a tool to elevate them into th… https://t.co/L4XhduspT5
  • We're thrilled to partner with @WisconsinDPI to bring this professional learning experience to Wisconsin educators!… https://t.co/28XxkPTJO6
  • RT @mandercorn: ⭐"Give more students access to socioeconomically and racially diverse learning environments by implementing more equitable…
  • "From Crisis to Opportunity: A Policy Agenda for an Equitable NYC" is a policy agenda for that includes creating hi… https://t.co/uQNNWYXC0P
  • We are seeking talented K-12 teachers who instruct or support ELA or mathematics to join our Teacher Advisory Board… https://t.co/jPSO3xPkfe
  • As a close partner on this work with @DEDeptofEd, this is the type of win that pushes us to work even harder on our… https://t.co/qsLajIR2gO
  • RT @laloalcaraz: Texas Educational Whitewash. Please share #laloalcaraz cartoons
  • When teaching reading, it's OK to take a second, pause, and consider: What do I need to change in my practice to tr… https://t.co/hbLihYGXQD
  • RT @Rivet_Education: Love listening to @CarvajalHageman in this #DelawareDelivers webinar talk about their adoption of #HQIM in ELA and stu…
  • Join a strong cohort of professionals who are striving to increase their impact on student learning through equitab… https://t.co/7nwE3F4fUs
  • The powers that be @EducationFL "are advising publishers and school districts to not incorporate unsolicited strate… https://t.co/R4WgEGf0vG
  • Time is running out to register for our first-ever Illustrative Mathematics Virtual Bootcamp #LeadTheMovement Reg… https://t.co/qmMkp2f8Z7
  • RT @larissaphillip: The biggest social justice issue is education, and it has nothing to do with who gets into Yale or Stanford. It’s what’…
  • RT @Rivet_Education: #2 Launching a Curriculum Ensure your teachers and leaders understand the approach, design, and structure of your cur…
  • Mur·​raya \ ˈmərēə \ : a genus of tropical Asiatic and Australian trees (family Rutaceae) having pinnate leaves a… https://t.co/jfM7xtz6DR
  • The use of #HQIM lays the foundation for shifting the paradigm of teacher professional learning and improving teach… https://t.co/LYvDuIDG6d