Sep 10, 2007

CIT featured in the Washington Post

Inspired Teaching is featured today on the front page of the Washington Post education section in an article entitled "Center Focuses on Teachers, Not Test Scores" by Valerie Strauss:

Standing in a circle, three dozen teachers listened to an instructor rattle off a math problem. "The square of 4 times 3 plus 5 times 7 minus 8."

They attempted to calculate it in their heads, but not everyone got the right answer, and it wasn't because they couldn't do the math. The teachers realized that not everyone accurately heard the instructions. Some thought the instructor said -- or meant to say -- square root of 4, rather than the square of 4. (So their first calculation was 2 instead of 16.)

"It may seem simple, but this is why it is so important to be sure that you and your students are on the same page," Aleta Margolis, founding executive director of the nonprofit Center for Inspired Teaching, told the D.C. teachers attending a summer workshop. "If teachers can get confused, think about what happens with children."

Relating to students, handling difficult administrators, designing inventive lesson plans and working well with colleagues are among the topics hundreds of teachers are tackling as part of a training effort by the D.C.-based center, which was founded to help teachers become better at what they do.

To read the full article, click on the link below!


Mar 22, 2007

A Letter from Center for Inspired Teaching's Executive Director, Aleta Margolis

Dear Friends and Supporters,

On a daily basis we are bombarded with stories about the failure of our schools. A million students drop out each year. Nearly half of all African American, Hispanic, and Native American students fail to graduate. Research increasingly cites boredom and lack of engagement as leading factors influencing these dismal statistics. Luckily there’s a solution: Inspired Teachers. Center for Inspired Teaching is changing the way children are educated by investing in their teachers. Since 1995, through innovative courses, mentoring, and intensive school partnerships, over 5,000 teachers have been transformed into Inspired Teachers, improving instruction for over 125,000 students.

We believe every child possesses the ability to think critically, learn and understand information, and solve complex problems. It takes an Inspired Teacher to develop this ability and enable students to reach their full potential.

Inspired Teachers employ a range of tools to keep their students mentally, physically, and emotionally engaged. They teach young people to become knowledgeable, self-disciplined, and compassionate citizens.

We’ve been committed to this kind of teaching for 11 years and our research shows that Inspired Teaching does three things for teachers: • Decrease time teachers spend maintaining discipline; increase teaching time. • Improve teachers' ability to think critically and solve problems, so they can do the same for their students, resulting in higher student achievement in school and in real life. • Improve the emotional climate of teachers' classrooms, so children feel safe and can focus on learning, resulting in improvements in behavior and a change in students' life aspirations.

In our Intensive School Partnerships we see these changes on an institutional scale. Two years ago, partner school Tyler Elementary was labeled one of the lowest achieving schools in DC. In 2006 it was one of only 3 schools to show growth in reading and math, and posted the highest special education scores and the highest gains in student attendance in the District.

In response to our growing success story, we have experienced a significant rise in the demand for our programs. To meet the demand we have: doubled our staff and trained alumni teachers so we can expand our course offerings; tripled our school partnerships; and reached more teachers and students than ever before. Our goal is for every child to have an Inspired Teacher and we plan to continue growing to make that goal a reality. We are grateful for people like you who support us in continuing this vitally important journey.

Sincerely, Aleta Margolis Executive Director

P.S. We also have a new blog! Become part of our conversation by accessing it at,

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