The Taxonomy of Effective Teaching Practices, described in the book Teach Like a Champion, is a collection of instructional techniques gleaned from years of observations of outstanding teachers in some of the highest-performing urban classrooms in the country. Developed by Uncommon Schools Managing Director Doug Lemov and Uncommon teachers, this set of specific and concrete actions, paired with a library of over 700 video clips of highly-effective teachers in action, has provided teachers nationwide with actionable tools to drive greater student achievement and a shared language to discuss and support teacher effectiveness.
We know that great teachers are eager for growth and development. They need the time and tools to do their jobs effectively, and they deserve ongoing support on the implementation of Taxonomy techniques and more. Our commitment to core support includes:
During the month of August, new and returning teachers come together to prepare for a year of excellent instruction. The Taxonomy of Effective Teaching Practices provides the cornerstone for discussions and planning.
An ongoing cycle of observation, feedback, and debriefing allows our teachers and leaders to focus on what is working and what can be improved.
Weekly Professional Development
One afternoon per week is devoted to school-wide professional development coordinated by instructional leaders. Topics include building classroom effectiveness, lesson planning, and data analysis.
We believe in the value of collaborative planning, achievement analysis, culture building, and reflection across grade levels. Grade-level chairs spearhead this continuous process.
Pathways to Leadership
We recognize and celebrate the hard work of our teachers by providing pathways toward becoming a lead teacher, grade-level chair, department chair, or instructional leader within Uncommon Schools.
All of our teachers are equipped with a laptop computer, email, internet access and all necessary instructional supplies.