Mississippi, Location Flexible, Jackson Preferred
I. Overview of Teach Plus
The mission of Teach Plus is to empower excellent, experienced teachers to take leadership over key policy and practice issues that affect their students’ 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 Description
The Mississippi State Director will launch and run the Mississippi Policy Fellowship program that will successfully engage teachers in shaping key policy decisions that impact underserved students. Other key responsibilities will include growing a grassroots teacher advocacy network, building relationships with policymakers, and cultivating partnerships in the Mississippi education community.
The Mississippi State Director will be a credible broker between teachers and policymakers and between teachers and the media, building partnerships across the state in order to lay the groundwork for teacher voice, and will create opportunities for teacher leaders to have influence on key issues. The Mississippi State Director will be responsible for all aspects of leading and growing a successful Teaching Policy Fellowship program in Mississippi.
With support from her/his manager, the EVP, and the CEO, the State Director will create, monitor, and update the policy goals, partnership goals, and overall strategic direction for Mississippi. Specific goals include:
1) Lead the Mississippi Teaching Policy Fellowship
- Ensure the Mississippi Teaching Policy Fellows secure at least one major policy win at the state level. This will require successful management of the fellowship, including: Building strong relationships with Fellows, policymakers, and the media.
- Deliver high-quality program content (including delivering Teach Plus curricula or arranging for another staffer to deliver it as needed, assigning readings and lectures, arranging guest speakers, and leading group discussions and working groups) that give Fellows an understanding of policy and research related to ESSA, teacher quality issues, advocacy tools, and opportunities to develop and advocate for their ideas.
- Manage Fellows’ work, including working group projects, overseeing the writing of op-eds and/or policy briefs.
- Connect Fellows with policy leaders in ways that enable their policy recommendations to advance.
2) Lead partnerships, field-building, and advocacy
The Mississippi State Director will serve as the policy leader of Teach Plus Mississippi and build relationships that enable teachers to have an impact on critical policy issues by:
- Establishing strong relationships and effective partnerships between Teach Plus, state education leaders, local districts, and other local educational organizations.
- Connecting teachers to media contacts, and actively pursuing opportunities for Teach Plus teachers to showcase their work and ideas.
3) Grow fundraising relationships in order to build a sustainable presence in Mississippi by:
- Maintaining and managing relationships with statewide and local funding sources.
- Strategically diversifying the funding base, increasing the number of local and individual philanthropic leaders who know and support Teach Plus’ work.
4) Activate and grow the network of informed and active teacher leaders
The Mississippi State Director will be the primary driver of the expansion of the statewide network of Teach Plus teachers. S/he will do this in a variety of ways, including:
- Organizing events that allow Fellows to engage a broader group of teacher voices to influence state policies.
- Collaborating with national staff to participate in national advocacy work (e.g., ESSA, equity, diversifying the teaching profession, personalized learning, early childhood education, and other policy goals shared across Teach Plus regions).
- If the program continues for additional years, leading recruitment and selection of statewide fellows and building an alumni group and strategy.
The ideal candidate will have:
- Excellent written and oral communication skills, including experience facilitating adults.
- An understanding of Mississippi’s current state education policy landscape and its political climate in order to create opportunities in the field for policy impact through teacher voice.
- Ability to establish credibility easily with teachers, public officials, and media.
- Ability to translate policy and politics to a teacher audience.
- Strong project management skills and the initiative to complete tasks independently.
- Excellent relationship building skills and the ability to organize and mobilize a group of people toward a shared goal.
- Comfort working in an entrepreneurial environment and the willingness to contribute as needed to a growing organization.
- Experience managing and delivering innovative programs with a focus on quality and results.
- A results-oriented, goal-driven, teamwork approach to work.
- A passionate commitment to improving public education by retaining and supporting outstanding teachers in high-need schools.
- A working understanding of major education policy issues that affect both the teaching profession and the success of children from low-income families, including equity, accountability, assessment, graduation rates, and teacher leadership.
- Previous teaching experience is a significant plus.
IV. Hours and Term
This is a full-time position and candidates must commit to 40 hours per week, including some evenings and weekends. Additionally, there will be a need to travel across the state and to be a presence in Jackson during the legislative session. Teach Plus will build a presence in Mississippi for a minimum of 18 months with the potential for multi-year engagement. As such, this position will be filled for one year with the possibility of extension and/or growth contingent upon increased scope of work and securing of additional funding. The position start date is in June.
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.
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, 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 commensurate with experience. Full benefits package includes medical, dental, retirement, disability, life insurance, and generous paid time off benefits.
VIII. 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://www.tfaforms.com/4674782