Equity Change Agent

Solving schoolwide problems of practice to address real challenges for students


Have you witnessed a systemic inequity occur in your school that you would like to study and solve? Would you like to positively impact student learning, while receiving development as an educational leader, individual coaching support in tackling your school’s challenge, and connection to a network of other dynamic teacher leaders, all without having to leave the classroom? Through the Equity Change Agent program, Teach Plus recruits, selects, trains, and supports outstanding, equity-minded Teacher Leaders to lead a school-based effort to address a problem of practice that addresses inequitable disparities in their schools.

What is the Change Agent?

Teach Plus will address persistent disparities in educational outcomes for students of color by supporting five Equity Change Agents leading improvement efforts focused on an area of need in their schools that will be identified through an equity audit led by the Teach Plus coach. Potential problems of practice that we envision could be culturally responsive pedagogy, equitable grading, or restorative justice, among other issues identified by applicants. We could also envision a project focused on the adult culture and climate in a school to better improve the environment for staff and students of color.

Teach Plus recruits and selects Teacher Leaders (TLs), who demonstrate effectiveness in their classroom and school leadership, proficiency in their content area, and an acute awareness to identify socialized but inequitable systematic norms that halt progression and limit underrepresented groups.

To apply to this program, a teacher and principal co-identify a persistent, inequitable disparity affecting educational outcomes for students and/or teachers of color in their school.

Once selected, this teacher becomes a TL, joining the Equity Change Agent cohort with TLs from other selected schools. Teach Plus will support the Change Agent TL in tackling their equity-focused problem of practice throughout the school year, in the following ways:

  • Conducting an Equity Audit alongside a Teach Plus coach to gather evidential data from a variety of sources to make an informed improvement plan regarding (but not limited to): underrepresentation of a group or groups in curriculum and resources, identification of lack in content rigor due to misconceptions or biases concerning expectations of underrepresented students, equitable access to programs or professional development, assessing the school climate and culture from various, representative perspectives and more.
  • Leadership Training –  Kicking off over the summer, we’ll host a teacher leadership training session, helping TLs create SMART(E) goals and action plans to address the equity issue that they’ve identified in their respective schools.
  • Monthly Coaching – Monthly during the school year, Teach Plus provides regular coaching sessions and cohort meetings to support TLs in their growth as educational leaders throughout the implementation of their action plans.  
  • Stipend – In recognition of their time and effort, Teach Plus will also award all participating TLs a $2,500 stipend.

At this moment, we are targeting TLs from Chicago schools (both charter and district) with a student population of at least 70% free or reduced lunch. If your school fits these requirements, we welcome a teacher (with the support of his/her principal) to apply to the Change Agent program! If you have questions about these guidelines, please feel free to reach out to Crystal Jameau (occasionally we will make an exception for a particularly compelling problem of practice that ties into our other programs or priorities).

As a Change Agent, you will:

  • Work with your principal to identify a high-leverage problem that aligns with schoolwide priorities, which you will address with a team of teachers throughout the school year;
  • Attend a kick-off training over the summer to develop your SMART(E) goals and action plan. An administrator with access to data and decision-making power must attend with you (Principals strongly encouraged);
  • Work independently and collaboratively each month with Teach Plus coaches and the Change Agent cohort to discuss, analyze data, reflect, and revise action plans. Cohort meetings will last 2-3 hours and occur once a month (alternating between virtual and in-person, when it is safe to do so, sessions);
  • Celebrate your progress at an end-of-year showcase with other Teacher Leaders, principals, district staff, and the philanthropic community.


All applicants must be current classroom teachers with a minimum of two years of teaching experience in a Chicago school (charter or district), with a student population of at least 70% free or reduced lunch. Applicants must demonstrate that they possess the critical skills and competencies required for effectively leading their peers. If you have questions about these guidelines, please feel free to reach out to Crystal Jameau (occasionally we will make an exception for a particularly compelling problem of practice that ties into our other programs or priorities).

This year we are piloting a Principal Change Agent Fellowship. In this unique opportunity, principals will receive monthly coaching and bi-monthly professional development sessions on best practices in distributed leadership (and supporting your teacher leader), and an implementation stipend for their schools. If you are interested in learning more about this, please indicate your interest using this form.

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