How We Work with Teachers and School Leaders

Our school designers spend an average of 30 days a year in a school working on-site with teachers and school leaders. This allows them to provide professional development within a whole school design and combine focused institutes with on-site coaching and support. Off-site institutes and site seminars engage teachers as learners to support better assessment of student learning, demonstrate engaging content instruction, and foster their own development as learners and thinkers.

School-based professional development offerings

Each school designer develops a variety of school-based professional development opportunities for staff based on a school’s identified needs. Some examples include:

  • Full staff training for improved schoolwide implementation of our model
  • Small team coaching sessions for curriculum planning
  • Curriculum planning with individual teachers
  • Demonstration lessons with students and follow-up debriefing sessions with teachers
  • Targeted professional development around one of the key facets of our model, authentic student-engaged assessment
  • Classroom observation and follow-up debriefing sessions with teachers
  • Individual or small group meetings with school leaders or leadership teams
  • Presentations to various constituent groups (e.g., parents, community groups, school boards)
  • Ongoing assessment of the schoolwide implementation of our core practices
  • Access to teaching resources, model student work, and EL Commons, our online forum for sharing knowledge and collaborative work space

Professional development institutes AND seminars

Our professional development is led by the most experienced school designers and master teachers from across our network. Three-day and five-day residential institutes provide content-rich curricular and instructional strategies for teachers and leaders on topics such as reading, math, differentiation, assessment, and the use of data. Five-day residential Learning Expeditions for Educators allow teachers to experience learning as their students do. And two-day Site Seminars invite educators to observe some of our most successful schools in action.

Expeditionary Learning National Conference

The Expeditionary Learning National Conference includes a mix of interactive master classes, structured discussion groups, and regional gatherings. Approximately 120 master classes, collaboratively designed and facilitated by EL school designers and teachers, are offered each year to the conference’s 700+ participants. The optional pre-conference day is a chance to experience EL practices on a deeper level. Participants can take a science-based or humanities-based Slice – a day in the life of a Learning Expedition; visit a local EL school; or explore a common EL practice, such as differentiation or assessment.