Marketing and Communications Chief Innovation Officer
Teaching Lab seeks a full-time Chief Innovation Officer to join our Executive Team to and pursue our mission to fundamentally shift the paradigm of teacher professional learning for educational equity.
Type of Vacancy: Salaried full-time, starting spring 2020
Reports to: Chief Executive Officer
Travel Required: At least one time per month
Compensation: Commensurate with experience
Teaching Lab is an equal-opportunity employer committed to reflecting the diversity of the students we serve. We pursue equity as both a means and an end, and enthusiastically welcome candidates of all backgrounds to apply for this role.
Who We Are
Teaching Lab is a nonprofit organization with a mission to fundamentally shift the paradigm of teacher professional learning for educational equity. We envision a world where teachers and students thrive together in communities that enable life-long learning and meaningful lives. In partnership with teachers, we transform professional learning from the ground up to dramatically improve student outcomes. We also work with school, district, and state leaders to create the instructional systems necessary to support these changes.
Our model is based on the best educational research and years of experience using exceptional instructional materials with teachers. Our team of experienced educators is committed to ensuring all students—especially students traditionally underserved by our school systems—meet the academic expectations necessary to succeed now and in the future. Our partners believe in the power of great teaching to inspire students at all levels to learn and grow. Together, we are building a nationwide movement for evidence-based teacher professional learning.
The core of Teaching Lab’s work is a belief that stronger professional learning for teachers can dramatically improve student opportunities and educational equity. Research suggests that effective professional learning incorporates three critical components:
- Head: Core academic content embedded in exceptional instructional materials and aligned to research-based practices. Teachers deserve daily access to instructional practices based in research. Deep study of high-quality instructional materials allows teachers to grow their knowledge over time and spread that knowledge to their colleagues. We call this the “head” of professional learning.
- Heart: Teacher-led communities that build both social capital and buy-in. Teachers deserve to feel motivated and supported by their peers to learn and grow. In teacher-led communities, educators are more likely to buy into their own development and work collaboratively with their colleagues to improve instruction. We call this the “heart” of professional learning.
- Habits: Structured and repeated cycles of learning in the classroom. Teachers deserve to learn from their efforts. Repeated cycles of learning afford teachers the time and space to reflect, incorporate new learning into practice and verify changes to instruction using evidence of student learning. We call this the “habits” of professional learning.
At Teaching Lab, our work is in pursuit of racial educational equity, and our lived values are grounded in racial equity.
- Racial educational equity is “raising the achievement of all students while eliminating the racial predictability and disproportionality of which student groups occupy the highest and lowest achievement categories.” (Adapted from Pacific Educational Group)
- Racial equity is the active work to ensure that colleagues of all racial backgrounds are truly respected, are able to function with dignity, are able to exercise influence over their lives, and, in the end, be able to determine for themselves the course of their professional realities. (Adapted from Howard Fuller)
Summary of Position
Teaching Lab is seeking a Chief Innovation Officer (CIO) to join our Executive Team. The CIO will act as a major thought leader in the field, use an equity lens to identify and pilot innovations to solve vexing problems in education, particularly related to teacher professional learning, will develop and manage our influence and communications strategy, and will help support raising philanthropic funding for innovations in order to achieve Teaching Lab’s four major five-year objectives:
- Dramatically increase the number of teachers who experience a high-impact sequence of professional learning every year of their careers.
- Create a learning organization that drives both continuous improvement and cost-effectiveness of our service model and organization.
- Create and sustain enabling conditions for high-impact teacher professional learning.
- Build a sustainable, anti-racist organization.
The Chief Innovation Officer is a member of the Executive Team and will support the organization in using an equity lens to manage the following functions:
- Innovation: Design and lead our strategic approach to innovation and manage our innovations from ideation phase to program integration, dramatically improving our ability to impact teacher professional learning and educational equity.
- Influence and Communications: Develop and manage our external influence and communications strategy, including representing our organization as a thought leader externally at events, conferences, and with funders.
- Development: Collaborate with the CEO and COO to maintain strong relationships with funders, seek out funders to support our innovation and influence strategies, and meet Teaching Lab’s fundraising goals.
- Leadership: With the Executive Team, lead Teaching Lab to become a best-in-class non-profit organization that centers equity and achieves our mission to fundamentally shift the paradigm of teacher professional learning for educational equity. Additionally, the CIO will partner with the CEO to ensure that other functions and workstreams lead to the achievement of the organization’s goals.
As a rapidly growing nonprofit, we seek an entrepreneurial individual excited to lead Teaching Lab to become a high-influence learning organization. This position is a senior-level role and has high potential for large-scale educational impact.
Eligible candidates must have strong expertise in system-level leadership, relationship and partnership cultivation and management, public speaking and influence, expertise in the Common Core or similar College- and Career-Ready state standards, a clear vision for how to scale evidence-based teacher professional learning, deep knowledge of how racism and historical systems of oppression impact PK-12 education, and experience effectively leading for racial equity. Ideal candidates will have a unique combination of intellectual curiosity and established skills in each of these areas. Teaching Lab is a mission- and values-driven organization. We seek outstanding leaders who have demonstrated a commitment to educational equity and racial equity.
Key Responsibilities & Functions
Innovation – To continuously learn and innovate to improve our core services, the CIO will:
- Create and manage Teaching Lab’s innovation strategy from problem identification, pilots, evaluation, and implementation across the organization and partners.
- Lead a cross-functional working group of team members to execute Teaching Lab’s innovation strategy aligned with our eight areas of innovation (diverse learners, teacher leader development, Professional Learning Community (PLC) supports, learning science, culturally-responsive teaching, school models, technology-enabled learning, and social-emotional learning), and integrate innovations into Teaching Lab’s core services.
- Collaborate closely with the CEO, Managing Director-Content Design, Managing Director-Partnerships, and Program Team to identify, pilot, and integrate innovations into core services, including building buy-in for the adoption of ground-breaking innovations.
- Collaborate closely with the Managing Director-Learning and Research to develop and implement a data strategy to evaluate the impact of innovations on improving outcomes for educational equity.
- Support the Teaching Lab team to adopt and maintain a Learning Management System and other technologies to test and improve innovations, impact, and efficiency of Teaching Lab’s service delivery model.
Influence and Communications – To build a grassroots network of influencers to dramatically improve teaching and learning and establish Teaching Lab as a high-influence organization, the CIO will:
- Cultivate a transparent, informative, efficient and grass-roots communication strategy centering teacher leaders and promoting courageous conversations about race amongst stakeholders, partners, and practitioners.
- Develop a vision and strategy, and lead a cross-functional Communications Working Group to establish Teaching Lab’s brand identity and to integrate our brand identity across all organizational functions.
- Author and disseminate case studies, and promote Teaching Lab on social media.
- Build a network of mission- and values-aligned champions and entities by serving as a thought leader at external events, conferences, and funder meetings.
- Integrate Teaching Lab’s innovation strategy into our influence strategy to spread evidence-based and equity-driven practices through teacher leaders.
Development – To establish Teaching Lab as a financially sustainable non-profit, the CIO will:
- Co-create and co-manage, with the CEO and COO, Teaching Lab’s development strategy, including strategic goal setting, data management, and funder relationship management.
- Raise philanthropic revenue to fund Teaching Lab’s innovation initiatives before integrating them into our core revenue-generating services.
Leadership – To lead Teaching Lab to become a best-in-class non-profit organization, the CIO will:
- Serve as a member of the Executive Team and determine the strategic, cultural, and programmatic direction of Teaching Lab.
- Support board engagement and management of Teaching Lab’s Board of Directors, including creating materials for board meetings, stewarding board member relationships, and participating in all Teaching Lab board meetings.
- Model Teaching Lab’s values, centering racial equity, and support the evolution of Teaching Lab’s equity-centered policies & practices.
- The following responsibilities are also expected of all members of the Teaching Lab Executive Team:
- Participation in Executive Team meetings and shared decision making;
- Recruiting, hiring, and managing new staff or consultants on projects under their leadership;
- Developing skills, expertise, and credibility in their core areas of leadership;
- Supporting the development of best-in-class and equity-driven professional learning content and programming;
- Representing the organization externally through meetings, speaking engagements, writing, and publishing.
We seek team members who bring relevant experience, knowledge, and skills, as well as a commitment to shared values and norms. Prospective CIO candidates should be able to demonstrate experience or background in the following categories:
Educational & Work Experience
- A minimum of ten years’ experience leading and directing a multi-department division in education, educational professional development, non-profit management, or related industry.
- Experience working in an entrepreneurial and rapidly growing organization; non-profit experience preferred.
- Demonstrated record of results in developing and implementing strategy at a system-level to improve educational equity and student outcomes.
- A Bachelor’s degree. Master’s degree in an education-related field, preferred.
- PK-12 teaching experience in a public school setting.
- Deep knowledge and experience with Common Core or College- and Career-Ready standards.
- Highly developed knowledge of the field of education, education research, and high-quality professional learning delivery models.
- Deep knowledge of the impact of race and historical systems of oppression on PK-12 education and students in traditionally underserved communities.
- Strong, demonstrated skills in leading, motivating, and supporting groups and individuals with and without formal authority.
- Ability to quickly establish credibility with internal and external individuals, entities, and agencies.
- Exceptional communication, presentation, and interpersonal skills to influence change in individuals, teams, and systems, especially related to racial equity.
- Exceptional creative problem-solving capabilities, including a self-starting entrepreneurial approach to solving difficult problems.
- Ability to thrive in a demanding and entrepreneurial environment requiring a high degree of adaptability, innovation, and follow-through.
- Ability to engage in big picture thinking while simultaneously tracking and juggling multiple tasks and priorities.
- Ability to learn on-the-job and quickly pick up new skills in order to meet strategic goals.
- Deep commitment to Teaching Lab’s organizational mission and values, particularly racial equity, and educational equity for traditionally underserved students.
- Strong commitment to a growth mindset for both adults and students, and a desire to work collaboratively to grow team skills and capabilities.
- Belief in the power of relationships and collaboration to drive results.
- Focus on achieving results for traditionally underserved students, including a high bar for quality work.
Working at Teaching Lab
This position is eligible for remote work anywhere in the continental United States. Candidates who live near New York City or Washington, DC may elect to work out of Teaching Lab offices located in those cities if they choose.
This position will require significant work travel based on organizational needs and capacity and time of year.
Salary for this position is commensurate with experience. Teaching Lab offers a comprehensive benefits package, including organizational contribution of 100% of employee costs and 50% of dependent costs for health, dental, and vision insurance, a 401(k) program with a 4% employer match and diverse investment options, monthly technology reimbursement, and generous time off and leave policies.
We are committed to building a sustainable organization. We love our work and want to be able to do it for years to come. This means that despite our relentless focus on impact and results for educators and students, we commit to maintaining a balance between work and other parts of our lives.
How to Apply
To Learn More About Teaching Lab
- Explore our website at www.teachinglab.org
- Read more about our model and the services we offer in our SY19-20 Professional Learning Services Guide
- Read about our work in the Aspen Institute report Practice What You Teach(pg. 9-11)