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Early Childhood Education Policy Manager

(Chicago, IL)

I. Overview of Teach Plus
The mission of Teach Plus is to empower excellent, experienced, and diverse teachers to take leadership over key policy and practice issues that advance equity, opportunity, and student success.  The organization empowers expert teachers to advance policy changes and improve instructional leadership and teacher supports; trains and coaches teacher leaders to successfully mobilize and lead teacher teams; and empowers teacher leaders to be change agents among their peers and policy makers.  Since 2009, Teach Plus has trained thousands of teacher leaders across the country who are driving policy changes and improving the instructional practices of teachers to create an education system driven by equity, access, and excellence for all students. 
 
II. Position Summary
The Teaching Policy Fellowship prepares high potential, highly effective educators to become leaders of their peers and trusted partners for decision makers and media.  The Early Childhood Education Policy Manager will be a credible broker between teachers and policymakers leveraging partnerships in Illinois in order to lay the groundwork for teacher voice and create opportunities for teacher leaders to have influence on critical issues. 

Reporting to the Illinois Senior Executive Director, the Early Childhood Education Policy Manager will have overall management responsibility for our Early Childhood Educator Policy Fellowship. This fellowship is a highly selective leadership opportunity for outstanding early childhood educators and providers looking to deepen their knowledge of education policy and gain a voice in decisions that affect their children, families, and the profession.  The ECE Policy Manager will also work with our national team help build org-wide knowledge, guide policy development, and support Teach Plus in developing a national Early Childhood Education strategy. 
 
III. Position Responsibilities
Policy & Outreach
The ECE Policy Manager will manage Teach Plus ECE policy strategy in Illinois, contribute to our national ECE strategy, and leverage relationships that enable teachers to have an impact on critical policy issues, including:

  • Develop and maintain relationships with policymakers, district leaders, and education organizations in Illinois.
  • Identify opportunities for teachers to advocate for equity on behalf of their children locally and in the state Capitol, and to be recognized for their excellence through awards and other honors.
  • Train and support teachers as they conduct advocacy efforts to enact policy change, including providing training and input to teachers as they write op-eds, meet with policymakers, testify, and participate in community organizing efforts at the state and local level.
  • Train teachers to be community organizers on issues of importance to their students and provide them with the tools and support to be successful.
  • Support other Teach Plus sites engaging on ECE policy work by partnering with state leaders and policy managers working on ECE issues, sharing ECE content developed for the Illinois fellowship to allow other sites to replicate this work, and developing a national ECE teacher leadership strategy.          

Program Management
The ECE Policy Manager will develop the skills of teacher leaders and alumni across the state to engage in policy and advocacy and create a broad community of excellent and effective teachers to bring teacher voice to influence national, state, and district policies.

  • Manage the Early Childhood Education Policy Fellowship, which includes coordinating monthly training sessions and three-yearly retreats (including assigned readings, lectures, guest speakers, group discussions, and working groups).
  • Develop policy strategies for fellows to achieve impact on 3-4 policy issues during the year of their fellowship.
  • Support the Fellows to develop and disseminate their proposals for policy changes at the local, state, and national levels.
  • Develop new curriculum related to Early Childhood Education as needed.
  • Develop strong relationships with Teach Plus Policy Fellows.
  • Support teacher-led advocacy projects by providing strategic policy advice, project management, editing documents, and research support.
  • Manage logistics for fellow events (both in-person and virtual events) including, but not limited to, site/vendor research, set up, ordering food and supplies, building and sharing surveys, and creation of materials.

Recruitment and Selection
The ECE Policy Manager will identify the most outstanding and solutions-oriented teachers, and manage the selection process for the Early Childhood Education Policy Fellowship.

  • Implement and manage the recruitment and selection process to ensure a high quality and diverse applicant pool for Policy Fellowships. 
  • Develop messaging for recruitment materials and communicate application requirements and program details to applicants through multiple media across the state, including in-person presentations, webinars, etc.

Research, Communications, and Outreach

  • Contribute to a monthly newsletter and use social media, email, and other communication platforms to promote Teach Plus and update teacher leaders, alumni, and donors regarding current educational issues, publicize Teach Plus Illinois highlights, teacher leadership opportunities, and events.
  • In collaboration with other Teach Plus staff, support teachers as they conduct teacher opinion research and author policy memos, briefs, op-eds and white papers.
  • Provide updated content for the Illinois pages of the website.

Data Management, Reporting, and Analytics

  • Conduct internal evaluations and surveys that track the progress and impact of our policy programs.
  • Maintain accurate and timely data and enter appropriate information into the Salesforce database for ongoing accountability reports.
  • Develop reports to share with partners and funders regarding progress in advancing policy issues in Illinois.
  • Track and report expenses within the policy program budget.

IV. Skills and Talents
The ideal candidate will have:

  • At least 4-6 years of education experience; early childhood teaching experience is preferred.
  • Dedication to equity for students, and a deep belief in the power of teachers to bring about positive change.
  • Experience with policy, advocacy, and/or community organizing.
  • A working understanding of major education policy issues that are affecting both the teaching profession and the success of children.
  • Excellent adult facilitation skills to deliver high quality learning to adults and excellent coaching skills to provide mentoring to Teaching Policy Fellows, alumni, and teachers in the Teach Plus network.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills, relationship-building, and interpersonal skills.
  • Strong project management skills and the ability to complete projects independently.
  • Comfort working in a fast-paced, mission-driven, and highly entrepreneurial environment
  • Ability to collaborate effectively among regional and national team members, both in-person and in a virtual environment.

V. Commitment to Diversity
In order to better serve the teachers and students at the core of our mission, Teach Plus is committed to maximizing the diversity of our organization. We are an equal opportunity employer and encourage individuals of all ethnic and racial backgrounds and gender identities to apply to our positions.

Studies have shown that women and people of color are less likely to apply for jobs unless they believe they meet every one of the qualifications as described in a job description. We are most interested in finding the best candidate for the job with the potential to develop and succeed with coaching and support. We recognize that such a candidate may have a less traditional background or have different kinds of relevant experience. We encourage you to apply, even if you don't believe you meet every one of our qualifications described.
     
VI. Our Culture
At Teach Plus, we are driven by our mission and our core values are a driving force behind everything we do: Leadership, Diversity and Equity, Solutions-orientation, Joy, Integrity in Practice, and Collaboration. We love what we do and we work hard to make a difference for teachers and students.  We are smart, passionate, and engaged with one another.  We are thought partners, collaborators, and constant learners.

VII. Compensation and Benefits
Salary is competitive and will be based on prior experience and qualifications. Full benefits package includes medical, dental, retirement, disability, life insurance, and generous paid time off benefits.
 
VIII. Work Hours and Commitment
Core work hours are 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. In addition, this role requires occasional nights and weekends to support policy sessions and meet with teachers and policymakers.  Periodic travel required: occasional trips to Springfield and across the state, in addition to 1-2 out-of-state trips per year for staff retreats.

IX. How to Apply
To apply, please complete an online application found here. The online application will require you to upload a resume and cover letter.  The cover letter should include an explanation of your interest in the position as well as a summary of relevant qualifications and experience. Teach Plus will receive applications until the position is filled.
 
Application Link:  https://teachplus.tfaforms.net/327964