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The Transformative Power of Teacher Teams

4/30/17 to 5/2/17


Teams of three or more: $1,725 per person

Priority Application Deadline: March 17, 2017

We are currently accepting and reviewing applications as space is available. For consideration, please submit an application at your earliest convenience, no later than April 21, 2017.

Faculty Chairs Katherine Boles and Vivian Troen on Transformative Power of Teacher Teams:

What You Will Learn

"When teachers, working in teams, engage in systematic high-level instructional talk, and have the opportunity to improve practice collaboratively and in concrete forms, they develop team loyalty, trust, and new feelings of responsibility and accountability. The collective team, recognizing the value of teacher leadership, is responsible to each other and for all the team’s students. The result is improved teaching and learning.” — Katherine C. Boles, Faculty Co-Chair

Develop the skills to “power-up" teacher teams, with the goal of improving student outcomes. In this program designed for teacher teams and school leaders, you will learn how to overcome barriers to meaningful collaboration, create conditions for effective teams, and practice concrete strategies to implement with your own teams. This program gives both new and established teams opportunity to assess their own collaborative environment and approaches to teaming, learn from real-world case studies, and articulate a step-by-step process for implementing teacher rounds as a systemic strategy and process for building a collaborative professional culture in their schools.

Program Overview

Thousands of schools across the country have structures in place for teachers to work together. Yet these efforts often fail to significantly and positively impact teaching and learning. Educators need the skills to talk concretely about curriculum and instruction, apply resources for improvement, recognize when and how practice is changing, and assess team and student progress.

The Transformative Power of Teacher Teams is a results-driven program that examines the Five Conditions of Teacher Teams and uses case studies to illuminate strategies for strengthening the effectiveness of teams. Teachers will learn how to support the work of their peers while sharpening their own collaboration skills. Principals will learn how to energize teacher teams by generating buy-in and directing resources to cultivate the teams. Coaches and other instructional leaders will learn how to partner with teachers to plan and measure instructional improvements.

During the program you will have the unique opportunity to connect not only with leading faculty but also with principals and teachers from K–8 and high school teams who will share experiences from their implementation of teaming practice.

Related News

Rating Your Teacher Team
Usable Knowledge: Go Team?
Why Teacher Teams Struggle to Work Effectively Together and How Schools Can Create the Conditions for Success

Program Objectives
  • Learn concrete steps for creating the structures and processes necessary for developing and sustaining effective teacher teams
  • Highlight the role of the principal as instructional leader in working with teams
  • Gain strategies for establishing team-meeting norms that facilitate rich dialogue about instruction
  • Prepare team members to facilitate collaboration, task focus, and personal accountability
  • Recognize the importance of goal setting and ongoing assessment for team members themselves
  • Understand what it means for teachers to be leaders in a team context
Who Should Attend
  • This program only accepts enrollment of three or more people
  • As the work of the program is team-based, it is highly encouraged that educators attend as a school-based or district-wide team. An ideal team would be composed of teachers, along with their principal: ideally three teachers to a team
  • Teams of college faculty, particularly Schools of Education
  • Teams from other organizations that work to support teachers

Attending as a Team

Educators who attend as part of a team are able to increase the impact of their learning both while on campus, and once they have returned home. Free from the usual distractions of the work setting, your team will benefit from additional opportunities to assess your teaming practice and learn new ways of working. As instructional leaders, principals will learn tips and strategies for their team development that will help teachers set goals and build capacity.

What People Are Saying

"This was a fabulous experience. It really made me think deeply and reflect on how I want to grow as a teacher.” —2014 participant

"I'm going to lead a team in every sense of the word when I go back home. Case study is my new favorite teaching strategy. How inductive! How powerful!” —Adam Fachler, Teacher, Bronx School of Science Inquiry and Investigation, NY

“Very engaging! It was incredible to have the opportunity to reflect on my own teaching and learning. I now have practical ideas that can be put into use immediately.” —Jen Harris, Teacher, Geneva City School, Geneva, NY

"Perfect balance of new knowledge and time to collaborate as a team.” —2014 participant

Faculty Chairs

Katherine Boles is senior lecturer on education and director of the Learning and Teaching Master’s Program at HGSE. A classroom teacher for over 25 years, Boles writes and teaches about school reform, teacher education and new forms of teacher leadership. Her work advocates for public-policy changes to restructure the field of teaching, instituting role differentiation among teachers and new "hybrid roles" for teachers that offer opportunities and promotions within teaching. Boles is author of Who's Teaching Your Children: Why the Teaching Crisis Is Worse Than You Think and What Can Be Done About It and The Power of Teacher Teams: With Cases, Analyses, and Strategies for Success.

Vivian Troen is the former director of the Teacher Learning Project at Brandeis University, supporting school leaders in developing systems for supervision and evaluation to promote ongoing teacher learning. Currently director of the education consultancy, The Power of Teacher Learning, she works with school districts and school leaders building school-wide capacity for teacher teams and rounds groups, addressing a wide range of issues surrounding professional learning. She has written numerous articles and book chapters on teaching and education policy, and with colleague Katherine Boles, is the co-author of Who's Teaching Your Children? (Yale University Press), The Power of Teacher Teams (Corwin Press) and The Power of Teacher Rounds (Corwin Press). She is also a co-author of Making Science Mentors: A 10 Session Guide for Middle Grades (NSTA). She was also a public school teacher for 30 years, teaching a looped third and fourth grade class at the Edward Devotion School in Brookline, Massachusetts.


Enrollment Instructions

Teacher Teams is an application program. To maximize the learning experience, the program aims to bring together as diverse a group as possible. Please review each step of the application process.


Step One
You will be asked to provide your personal profile and organizational information.

Step Two
You will be asked to respond to the following questions:

  1. Explain how participation in the program will benefit your work and describe one or more significant challenges you would like to explore during the program. (250 word limit)
  2. In what ways do you expect your particular skills, experience and perspective to contribute to group discussions? (250 word limit)


Identify Your Team Coordinator

  • Before beginning the application process, you will need to identify a team coordinator.
  • The coordinator will be the primary point of contact during the application process and preparation for the program.
  • The coordinator does not need to attend the program and will have the opportunity to indicate if they will be attending during the application process.

Application Process

  1. A team application to be completed once by the coordinator.
  2. A team member application to be completed by each member of your team.
  • In order for your team to be considered for review by the admissions committee, each team member will need to complete the team member application. The coordinator will receive a link to the team member application once the team application is complete.
  • Once started, the team application must be completed in a single session. It should take 15–20 minutes to complete.
  • A list of required questions will be provided at the beginning of the team application.
  • When your coordinator is ready to complete the team application, it can be accessed by continuing to the next page.
Fees, Hotel Accommodations, and Policies

The comprehensive tuition includes all instructional materials and refreshments. Participants receive a certificate of participation and a letter confirming clock hours of instruction.

Payment or a purchase order must be received within thirty days of program acceptance and prior to the program start. Participants are responsible for their own travel expenses. While a purchase order confirms a reservation, an outstanding balance is maintained until payment is rendered. 

Please click here for more information on hotel accommodations for on-campus programs.

Please click here for more information on our on-campus and online refund and withdrawal policies. If you have any additional questions or concerns about your ability to participate, please contact our admissions team at or 1-800-545-1849.

The Harvard Graduate School of Education reserves the right to change faculty or cancel programs at its discretion. In the unlikely event of program changes, the school is not responsible for non-refundable travel arrangements or other planning expenses incurred.

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