Institute Student Achievement Toolkit (ISAT) Writer – Apply by Jan. 12

By November 27, 2017Jobs

ISAT writers will develop unit plans for a particular content and grade level that focus learning around a centralized essential question steeped in culturally relevant pedagogy, and which position the 21st century global learning skill of problem solving and critical thinking at the forefront of the student experience.

The Role
The Memphis Regional Team is seeking highly effective teachers, deeply steeped in culturally relevant pedagogy, to author the Institute Student Achievement Toolkit (ISAT) for Summer 2018.  During our six-week summer training institute, our corps members (CMs) are given a suite of initial planning tools – including but not limited to unit plans, unit assessments, lesson plans, and supporting materials – to support their instruction while they build foundational knowledge and skills in key pedagogical areas and enhance their execution using these pre-planned materials.  ISAT writers will play an integral role in the success of our corps members, impacting classroom instruction throughout institute and setting the bar for CMs’ planning skill development.

ISAT writers are charged with developing a suite of tools for various grades and content areas.  The extent of responsibilities may vary by content and grade level depending on the resources available.  ISAT writers will develop unit plans for a particular content and grade level (see more information below) that focus learning around a centralized essential question steeped in culturally relevant pedagogy, and which position the 21st century global learning skill of problem solving and critical thinking at the forefront of the student experience.  ISAT writers will report directly to Director, Program Design, Amanda Harless.

Applications for ISAT writers will be considered for the following areas of specialty:

  • Grades K-2 ELA
  • Grades K-2 Math
  • Grades 3-5 ELA
  • Grades 3-5 Math
  • Grades 6-8 ELA
  • Grades 6-8 Math
  • Grades 6-8 Science
  • Algebra I
  • Algebra II
  • Geometry
  • Biology
  • Chemistry

The Team
Just six percent of Memphis students graduate high school college-ready — a reality threatening Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s vision of equality. Communities across Memphis are working urgently to change this and ensure all kids have choices after high school. We know that this work will require a reimagining of schooling in our community and will require diverse leadership at all levels. Our mission is to find, develop, and support a diverse network of leaders who expand opportunity for children from classrooms, schools, and every sector and field that shapes the broader systems in which schools operate. To foster this force of leadership, we focus on creating an environment where learners are deeply known, in a program that is intentional, supportive, and rigorous, so that they perform better, sustain themselves for longer, are more likely to persevere in the face of challenges (and even rise up to meet them at increasing rates), and lead more effectively.

Primary Responsibilities
Design Institute Student Achievement Toolkit

  • Design unit plans, lesson plans, assessments, and student materials that exhibit content excellence, model culturally relevant teaching, and support pre-service teachers in classroom execution.
  • At minimum, write six (6) full lesson plans designed to focus on problem solving and critical thinking on the student level, model Day One Ready knowledge and skills and culturally relevant teaching, and set CMs up to continue creating and executing similar lesson plans aligned to the pre-designed unit plan and assessment.
  • Participate in a cycle of feedback and revision to perfect the ISAT while adhering to strict interim and completion deadlines.
  • Work with pre-designed lesson plans to make necessary adjustments and modifications in order to meet specific student AND teacher needs and instructional realities when applicable.
  • Design products in line with provided design templates, conventions, and any other foundational guidance.
  • Collaborate with Director, Program Design and other Teach For America staff to identify and address critical areas of need regarding revising and creation of ISATs.


  • Proven ability to write planning materials that:
  • Engage and support learners in mastery of new skills, rigorous discussion, and authentic practice such that students do the “heavy lifting” to develop a deep understanding of the content through problem solving and critical thinking.
  • Present content clearly and dynamically.
  • Balance delivery of appropriate amount of new information and time for practice within a lesson.
  • Actively check for student understanding and elicit student critical thinking.
  • Draw connections to classroom culture and goals.
  • Knowledge of and ability to plan toward Common Core Standards Tennessee State Standards
  • Clearly communicate – in writing – the intention, objectives or outcomes of a lesson to the pre-service teacher.
  • Write clear, step-by-step directions for student activity at each point within a lesson.
  • Strong knowledge and understanding of general pedagogical theory and practice, including a deep baseline understanding of backwards planning.
  • Deep understanding of and investment in Teaching As Leadership and cultural competence.
  • Strong level of personal organization and time management to balance personal work against the ISAT design process to complete the task by firm deadlines.
  • Strong collaboration and communication skills.
  • Strong planning and preparation skills, including the abilities to:
  • Prepare necessary supplemental materials and examples by the deadline.
  • Anticipate CM misunderstandings and needs and make strategic adjustments.

Approach to Work

  • Motivated by getting results with students through backwards designed curricula.
  • Values explicit culture and relationship building through rigorous planning.
  • Enjoys being a resource for colleagues and operates with a generosity of spirit through giving, soliciting, receiving, and acting upon feedback.
  • Possesses a deep commitment to Teach For America’s mission.
  • Highly organized, efficient, and possesses great attention to detail and motivated by firm deadlines.
  • Motivated by a desire to build pedagogical knowledge, instructional skills, and reflective practices in new teachers as well as a deep conviction in academic rigor through problem solving and critical thinking as a key 21st century global thinking skill for students.
  • Motivated by a deep interest in leading the innovation and improvement of our institute program.


  • Bachelor’s degree required.
  • Significant experience teaching and developing rigorous curriculum and lessons in a specific content area and or grade-level.

Apply Now
To be considered for this role, you must submit an online application. Please scroll down to the bottom of the page to find the link to the online application. For more information, please contact or visit

In order to be considered for this position, you must submit an online application and complete the following steps by  Friday, January 12, 2018

1) Submit your initial application that includes uploading your resume.

2) Upload your cover letter (maximum length one page) answers the following questions:

  • Why are you applying to the ISAT writer position?
  • In what ways have you been most successful, and in what ways have you been least successful, in your classroom?  How have those experiences been impacted or influenced by planning and curricula?

3) Submit a sample curriculum toolkit, including:

  • A unit plan and assessment from the most recent year you taught
  • Three (3) lesson plans aligned to the unit plan and assessment submitted, along with any accompanying materials, from the most recent year you taught

About the Organization
There are more than 16 million children growing up in poverty in the U.S., and less than 10 percent of them will graduate from college. These statistics are not a reflection of our children’s potential; we know that children growing up in poverty can and do achieve at the highest levels. Rather, these statistics reflect the systemic lack of access and opportunity for children in low-income communities.

Teach For America (TFA) finds, develops, and supports an ever-expanding network of outstanding and diverse leaders committed to expanding opportunity for children in schools, school systems, and in every sector and field that shapes the context in which schools operate. Representing the diversity of America and sharing the experience of having taught successfully in our most challenging public schools, TFA corps members and alumni form a network of change agents inside and outside of education who are grounded in the tremendous potential of our most underserved children and connected to families and communities impacted by educational inequity.

Founded by Wendy Kopp in 1989, Teach For America has since expanded to 36 states and 53 regions, reaching more than 10 million students. Now 53,000 strong and growing each year, the TFA community is leading across all sectors, including as teachers, school and school system leaders, elected officials, policy and advocacy organizers, social entrepreneurs, and business and civic leaders. We support the individual and collective leadership of this network as they work hand-in-hand with students, families, and allies in the effort to realize educational equity and excellence for children across the nation.

Our Core Values and Diversity, Equity & Inclusiveness Statement
Learn more about our Core Values and our commitment to Diversity, Equity & Inclusiveness.

Commitment to Diversity and Equal Opportunity Employment Policy
Teach For America encourages individuals of all ethnic, racial, and socioeconomic backgrounds to apply for this position. We are committed to maximizing the diversity of our organization, as we want to engage all those who can contribute to this effort. Learn more about our diversity on staff:

Teach For America is committed to providing equal employment opportunities to all qualified individuals and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, age, marital status, veteran status, pregnancy, parental status, genetic information or characteristics (or those of a family member) or any other basis prohibited by applicable law.

This job description reflects Teach For America’s assignment of essential functions and qualifications of the role. Nothing in this herein restricts management’s right to assign, reassign or eliminate duties and responsibilities to this role at any time.