By Doug Lemov
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.
Read more about the Taxonomy in the New York Times Magazine
The Taxonomy In Action: A Selection of Clips From Our Library
Strong Voice 1: Juliana Worrell
Juliana Worrell shows you without words how to make sure students don't interrupt.
Juliana Worrell teaches first grade at North Star Academy Vailsburg Elementary School. She grew up in Blackwood, New Jersey, and she has an undergraduate degree in Political Science from Rutgers University.
Strong Voice 2: Sultana Noormuhammad
Sultana Noormuhammad shows how to use Juliana's technique with a larger group to make sure students remain attentive.
Sultana Noormuhammad is the Principal of Leadership Prep Bedford Stuyvesant Charter School. She grew up in Olympia, Washington, and she has an undergraduate degree in International Relations from Wellesley College.
Cold Call 1: Hannah Lofthus
Hannah Lofthus shows how to hold students accountable for listening by Cold Calling, calling on them regardless of whose hand is up… AND by keeping it positive.
Hannah Lofthus teaches third grade at Leadership Prep Bedford Stuyvesant Charter School. She grew up in Kansas City, Missouri, and she has undergraduate degrees in Philosophy and Political Science from the University of Missouri — Kansas City
Cold Call 2: Jesse Rector
Jesse Rector shows you how Cold Calling can be incredibly rigorous and awaken your students’ pride in their achievement.
Jesse Rector is the Principal of North Star Academy Clinton Hill Campus. He grew up in Edison, New Jersey. He has an undergraduate degree in History and American Studies from Rutgers University and a graduate degree in Organizational Leadership from Columbia University.
Precise Praise 1: Bob Zimmerli
Bob Zimmerli shows you how to make positive reinforcement doubly powerful by distinguishing acknowledgment from praise.
Bob Zimmerli is the Director of Curriculum and Instruction at True North Rochester Preparatory Charter School. He grew up in Rochester, New York. He has an undergraduate degree in American History and a graduate degree in Education from SUNY Brockport.
Precise Praise 2: Hilary Lewis
Hilary Lewis shows you how to reinforce behaviors (things students can choose to do) rather than traits.. AND how to align that reinforcement to your lesson goals.
Hilary Lewis is the founding Dean of Students at Excellence Girls Charter School. She grew up in Oberlin, Ohio, and she has an undergraduate degree in Psychology and Women's and Gender Studies from Amherst College.
We Are Committed to Developing Great Teachers
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.