Director of ELA Content Design

Type of Vacancy: Salaried full-time, starting March 2019

Location: New York City; Washington, DC; or a remote/home office anywhere in the United States

Reports to: Managing Director of Content Design

Travel Required: 15-20% depending on season

Compensation: Commensurate with experience

Summary of Position

Teaching Lab is seeking a Director of ELA Content Design to support our continued work in ELA and to create curriculum-specific professional learning content modules to support teacher-led cycles of inquiry. This work will focus on EL Education’s K-5 and 6-8 ELA curriculum and Guidebooks 2.0 but may expand to additional highly-reviewed, standards-aligned curricula over time.

The Director of ELA Content Design will drive towards an understanding of three essential questions for Teaching Lab:

  1. How will cycles of inquiry target components of Common Core-aligned ELA instruction? How will other aligned support be designed to support the Lab model and HQ implementation of ELA instructional materials?
  2. How will Teaching Lab build upon the standards-aligned curriculum to create engaging, high-impact professional learning experiences for teachers?
  3. How will Teaching Lab increasingly incorporate the “heart” component into professional learning design over time?

The Director of ELA Content Design will also be involved in supporting facilitation and/or leading professional development sessions. The role may, depending on the interest of the candidate, also include some client support and/or business development efforts.

Eligible candidates must have deep expertise in teaching, professional learning, curriculum, and the Common Core or other College- and Career-Ready standards in the content area of English Language Arts. Ideal candidates will have the unique combination of intellectual depth and skill in managing teams and projects. Above all, any candidate must have a demonstrated commitment to educational equity.

The Director of ELA Content Design will be a key member of the organization’s program team, tasked with implementing and iterating on the organization’s core program. As a rapidly growing nonprofit, we seek an entrepreneurial team member excited about building a team and an organization from the ground up. This position has high potential for both large-scale impact and career growth as Teaching Lab scales.

Key Responsibilities & Workstreams

Content Development (60% time)

  • Support creation of curriculum-specific professional learning content for Teaching Lab’s core model (teacher-led cycles of inquiry) and all supporting areas (Lab Leader development, school leader, coaching) for ELA, with a focus on EL 1.0, EL 2.0, and Guidebooks and the inquiry questions outlined above
  • Planning and managing large-scale content development projects including developing and tracking project plans for all ELA related content development to ensure timeliness, high quality, and feedback/review
  • Manage consultants or other team members to produce high-quality content
  • Collaborate with curriculum publishers to ensure alignment to materials
  • Collaborate with field sites to determine best application of Teaching Lab model
  • Develop expertise in research on curriculum, instruction, and professional learning

Facilitation & Content Delivery Support (30% time)

  • Help develop & lead training for Teaching Lab facilitators
  • Support facilitation of professional learning sessions in districts and schools (requires travel) and occasionally lead facilitation
  • Supporting training and coaching of local Lab Leaders (teacher-leaders of PL) and the Teaching Lab team to ensure alignment between design and delivery (primarily virtual)

Client Support & Business Development (up to 10% time)

  • Support clients & sitework team members with troubleshooting and major challenges
  • Collaborate with team members to support business development efforts (depending on candidate interest)

Areas for Growth

Teaching Lab is committed to practicing what we preach, which means that development of our team is a key organizational priority. As a community of learners, we support one another through thought partnership, direct assistance, and opportunities to expand our own knowledge. The Director of ELA Content Design will have the following growth opportunities:

  • Unparalleled networking and learning opportunities with Teaching Lab staff, board members, and experts in the field, including Student Achievement Partners, UnboundEd, EL Education, Illustrative Math, and others
  • Opportunities to attend and present at conferences
  • A peer community of other Directors of Content Design focused on collaborating and supporting each other in their core areas of responsibility
  • Internal cycles of inquiry on core topics that mirror our client-facing, external professional learning sequences

In addition, Teaching Lab is a fast-growing nonprofit organization; we expect to double in size annually for the next several years, which will provide pathways for career growth and expanded impact over time.


Teaching Lab team members bring relevant experience, knowledge, and skills, as well as a commitment to shared values and norms. Prospective Director of ELA Content Design candidates should be able to demonstrate experience or background in the following categories:

Educational & Work Experience

  • Bachelor’s degree and minimum seven years working experience in education
  • Successful teaching experience with students from traditionally underserved backgrounds (3 years minimum) with demonstrated evidence of impact
  • Full-time experience leading and designing professional learning
  • Experience leading relationships with clients and stakeholders in an education context
  • Experience managing and developing staff
  • Experience in an entrepreneurial role or startup organization (preferred)
  • Experience with community organizing or teacher leadership efforts (preferred)


  • Deep knowledge and experience with Common Core or College- and Career-Ready ELA/Literacy Standards
  • Deep understanding and experience with implementation of high-quality ELA curricula
  • Knowledge of the Guidebooks and/or EL curricula, including their design and component parts (preferred)


  • Exceptional organizational skills
  • Superior critical thinking and creative problem-solving capabilities, including a self-starting/entrepreneurial approach to difficult problems
  • Ability to define program objectives, establish metrics, monitor and evaluate progress, and manage projects independently through a complete life cycle
  • Strong professional and interpersonal judgment
  • Ability to form credible and lasting relationships with teachers, school leaders, and district and state leaders
  • Compelling communication and influence skills


  • Deep commitment to Teaching Lab’s organizational mission and educational equity for traditionally underserved students
  • Strong commitment to growth mindset for both adults and students, and a desire to work collaboratively to grow team skills and capabilities
  • Belief in the power of relationships to drive collaboration
  • Relentless focus on results for traditionally underserved students, including a high bar for quality work

Working at Teaching Lab

This position is eligible for remote work anywhere in the continental United States. Candidates who live near New York City or Washington, DC may elect to work out of Teaching Lab offices located in those cities if they choose.

This position will require work travel (15-20%) based on organizational needs and capacity and time of year. Teaching Lab staff members are required to attend “home weeks” in DC or NYC every other month in addition to travel required for day-to-day job responsibilities. Currently scheduled home weeks and required meetings are:

  • April 2-4, 2019
  • June 1-3, 2019 (Note that in general, Teaching Lab does not require weekend travel and we expect this to be the only instance of required weekend work throughout the year.)

Salary for this position will be commensurate with experience. Teaching Lab offers a comprehensive benefits package, including organizational contribution of 100% of employee costs and 50% of dependent costs for health/dental/vision insurance, a 401(k) program with a 4% employer match and diverse investment options, monthly technology reimbursement, and generous time off and leave policies.

We are committed to building a sustainable organization. We love our work and want to be able to do it for years to come. This means that despite our relentless focus on impact and results for educators and students, we commit to maintaining a balance between work and other parts of our lives.

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