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 teachers to become leaders of their peers and trusted partners for decision makers and media. The Pennsylvania Policy Manager will be a credible broker between teachers and policymakers leveraging partnerships in order to lay the groundwork for teacher voice and create opportunities for teacher leaders to have influence on critical issues.
Reporting to the Pennsylvania Executive Director, the Pennsylvania Policy Manager will have overall management responsibility for running the Pennsylvania Policy Fellowship program and supporting other teacher policy work across the state, growing a grassroots teacher advocacy network, and building partnerships and relationships in Pennsylvania.
III. Position Responsibilities
Policy & Outreach
The Policy Manager will manage Teach Plus state policy strategy and leverage relationships that enable teachers to have an impact on critical policy issues by:
- In partnership with the Pennsylvania Executive Director, maintaining relationships with policymakers, district leaders, and education organizations across Pennsylvania.
- Identifying opportunities for teachers to advocate for equity on behalf of their students locally and in the state Capital, and to be recognized for their excellence through awards and other honors.
- Training and supporting 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.
- Training teachers to be community organizers on issues of importance to their students, and providing them with the tools and support to be successful.
- Collaborating with national staff to engage teachers in national/federal advocacy work.
The Policy Manager will develop the skills of teacher leaders and alums across the state to engage in policy and advocacy discussion and create a broad community of excellent and effective teachers to bring teacher voice to influence national, state and district policies, through:
- In partnership with the Pennsylvania Executive Director, managing the Pennsylvania Policy Fellowship, including coordinating and facilitating monthly training sessions and twice-yearly retreats (including assigned readings, lectures, guest speakers, group discussions, and working groups).
- Supporting the Fellows to develop and disseminate their proposals for policy changes at the local, state and national levels.
- Developing strong relationships with Teach Plus Policy Fellows and Senior Fellows, and serving as their talent agent, providing them with opportunities to lead and be recognized.
- In partnership with the Pennsylvania Executive Director and Senior Fellows, manage 4-5 working groups of 4-6 teachers each, with primary ownership of 2-4 working groups. Managing working groups includes developing expertise on the working group topic, participating in relevant coalitions and developing partnerships with other advocacy groups working on the same issue, supervising the senior fellow responsible for that working group and supporting their facilitation of the group, leading any research projects and policy reports for the working group, and supporting the group in planning for and achieving policy impact. Each working group meets at least twice per month.
- In partnership with the Pennsylvania Executive Director, manage and grow the Teach Plus Pennsylvania Network, including coordinating optional monthly learning and collaboration sessions for the teachers in the Teach Plus Pennsylvania Network. Support the growth of the network from 60 teachers currently to 250 teachers by May 2023 through strategic recruitment and outreach.
- Supporting teacher-led advocacy projects by providing strategic policy advice, project management, editing documents, and research support.
Recruitment and Selection
The Policy Manager will identify the most outstanding and solutions-oriented teachers, and manage the selection process for the Pennsylvania Policy Fellowship.
- Participate in the recruitment and selection process to ensure a high quality and diverse applicant pool for Policy Fellowships and the Pennsylvania Network.
- 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
- In collaboration with other Teach Plus staff, support teachers as they conduct teacher opinion research and author policy memos and briefs.
- Provide updated content for the Pennsylvania pages of the website, Teach Plus PA social media accounts, and the state and national e-newsletters.
- Support the Executive Director in identifying, developing, and maintaining funder relationships.
Data Management and Analytics
- Conducting internal evaluations and surveys that track the progress and impact of our policy programs.
- Maintaining accurate and timely data and enter appropriate information into the Salesforce database for ongoing accountability reports.
- Tracking and reporting expenses within the policy program budget.
IV. Skills and Experience
The ideal candidate will have:
- Experience and successful track record in policy, government relations, advocacy, and/or community organizing, preferably with specific experience related to education policy or advocacy.
- Excellent written and oral communication skills, including experience facilitating adult learning, ideally including editing and social media communications.
- Excellent relationship building skills and the ability to organize and mobilize a group of people toward a shared goal.
- Ability to establish credibility easily with teachers, public officials, and media.
- Strong project management skills and the ability to complete projects independently.
- Dedication to equity for students, and a deep belief in the power of teachers to bring about positive change.
- Prior experience working with or within the Pennsylvania General Assembly or Pennsylvania Department of Education is preferred but not required.
- Expertise in one or more of the following education policy issues is preferred but not required: early childhood education, recruitment and retention of teachers of color, school finance and equitable education funding, teacher preparation, early literacy.
- Previous teaching experience is a significant plus.
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, sexual orientations, and gender identities to apply to our positions.
VI. Compensation and Benefits
Salary is competitive and will be based on prior experience and qualifications. Teach Plus offers a generous benefits package including medical, dental, and vision insurance, 3% matching 401k plan, disability and life insurance, and Flexible Spending Accounts for medical and childcare expenses. Teach Plus offers generous time off benefits including 15 vacation days, 3 personal days, 5 sick days, 11 holidays, and winter break. Additionally, Teach Plus offers paid parental leave and a 4-week paid sabbatical for every five years of service.
VII. Location, Travel, and Hours
Although this is a remote position that will be conducted virtually (primarily from a home office), candidates must reside in PA, Harrisburg preferred. Candidates must be willing to travel up to 25% to Harrisburg and periodic travel to other parts of PA may be required. This role requires some nights and weekends to support policy sessions and meet with teachers and policymakers. Anticipated start date is June 1, 2021.
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://teachplus.tfaforms.net/328062