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People Development

At Uncommon, we know that effective teacher training is essential. We believe in providing our staff with leadership positions and opportunities to grow their careers in education, and we provide professional development at all levels of the organization.


Across our six regions, our teachers have access to various professional development opportunities to continue improving their craft. While professional development programs vary across schools to address the specific needs of teachers, Uncommon-wide professional development opportunities include:



Master Teacher Retreat : Held annually and brings together teachers from across our six networks who are taking on additional leadership responsibilities, such as grade leader, department head, or dean. 

Leadership Retreat: Held annually in February and brings together school and network leaders and Home Office Directors for professional development. 

Operations Institute: Held annually brings together school operations leaders for professional development. 

Quarterly Home Office Professional Development: Professional development targeted to the needs of the Home Office staff. 



Three weeks of training and professional development in August that include:

  • The Taxonomy of Effective Teaching Practices:

    How to Incorporate Small Changes to your Teaching to Drive Culture and Achievement (Doug Lemov, Managing Director, Uncommon Rochester and Uncommon Troy) 

  • Data-Driven Instruction: How to Make it REALLY Work!

    (Paul Bambrick-Santoyo, Managing Director, Uncommon Newark) 

  • Leverage Leadership: A Practical Guide to Building Exceptional Schools

    (Paul Bambrick-Santoyo, Managing Director, Uncommon Newark) 

Weekly, professional development focused school-wide staff meetings and grade level or content meetings

  • Students are released early once a week to accommodate these meetings within regular school hours

Continuous cycle of classroom observations and debriefs with department and school leaders.

Professional development workshops throughout the year targeted at teachers' needs

Opportunities to share best practices and network with teachers and leaders within the Uncommon Schools network


In an effort to share our learned best practices with the education field at large, some of our staff also leads external professional development workshops focused on topics ranging from classroom management, to improving collaboration among students.