Disparities across economic and racial lines have been exacerbated by the pandemic, and isolation and learning loss have harmed students from all backgrounds. Confronting a complex and difficult world, students need to think critically and advocate effectively – and teachers need to be meaningful partners in the work. Inspired Teaching promotes civil discourse and social justice right in the classroom. It engages young people in real conversation about the things that matter to them – from racism to police brutality to cancel culture to voter suppression – and teaches teachers to do the same. Whether in a year-long, honors-level course or when gathering with peers from diverse DC schools, students engage in civic – and civil! – discourse, learn productively and respectfully to discuss controversial topics and develop the power of their voices. Empowering teachers and students together: this charts a way forward.
Headquarters: DC-Ward 1
Where They Operate: DC-Citywide; DC-Ward 1; DC-Ward 2; DC-Ward 3; DC-Ward 4; DC-Ward 5; DC-Ward 6; DC-Ward 7; DC-Ward 8
Age Groups Served: Pre-K (3-4); Youth (5-11); Pre-teen/teen (12-17); Adult (25-49)
Ethnic Groups Served: African American; Asian American; Caucasian; Latino/Hispanic
Population(s) Served: Students
Schools They Work In: We work closely with teachers in schools throughout DC, and we work in very close concert with with Capital City PCS Inspired Teaching Demonstration PCS
- Number of children you prepare for success in school annually:
Through our transformative teacher training programs, we ensure that over 1,000 public and charter school students throughout Washington, DC are in classrooms where they can realize their full potential as critical thinkers and learners.
Awards & Recognition
2001: Founder and Executive Director, Aleta Margolis is recognized as a leading social entrepreneur by Ashoka. This recognition comes as the organization continues to work to transform education by dramatically improving the way teachers teach.
2009: Recent changes in DC law allow nonprofits to apply for the authority to credential new public school teachers. Inspired Teaching is the only local nonprofit to be given credentialing authority (Teach For America and The New Teacher Project are also approved.
2009: The Inspired Teacher Certification Program is the first local teacher preparation program that is supported by AmeriCorps* State Professional Corps Program administered by Serve DC - The Mayor's Office on Volunteerism.
2011: The Inspired Teaching Demonstration School opens in August 2011. Deeply grounded in the philosophy of Inspired Teaching, this school is a place where children's imagination, intellect, inquiry, and integrity are encouraged and developed.
2012: We welcome the first group of Fellows (in the Inspired Teacher Certification Program) who experience a residency-based approach to teaching. Fellows spend this residency year in the classroom of a lead teacher, learning what high-quality teaching looks like from the first day of school through the last.
2013: Four Inspired Teaching Institute alumni are selected as recipients of the 2013 David Rubenstein Award for Highly Effective teachers. Several Teacher Leaders with our BLISS program are tapped for instructional leadership roles in the K-12 profession. Center for Inspired Teaching's Common Core-aligned curriculum for DC middle school social studies teachers is piloted in classrooms throughout DC, giving students the opportunity to dive deep into the study of early pioneer life in America, the modern urbanization of China, and the U.S. Civil War.
- Aleta Margolis is panelist for "Innovations in Education"
Wed Sep 25 2013, Center for Inspired Teaching website
Executive Director Aleta Margolis helped lead a discussion about empowering teachers to bring to life STEM instruction in class.
- Stanford University Praises "Exemplary" BLISS Module
Tue Jun 18 2013, Center for Inspired Teaching website
Stanford University recognizes that one of the teaching units we've created is not only Common Core-aligned, it is "exemplary".
- While we wait for 'Superman,' let's focus on teaching
Thu Sep 16 2010, The Washington Post
Let Waiting for Superman move us to call for a fundamental shift in what we expect from our students, our teachers, and institutions.
- Fix the 'creativity gap' and achievement will follow
Tue Aug 31 2010, The Washington Post
As a teacher and education reformer, I have observed a critical precursor to the achievement gap: the creativity gap.
- What makes a teacher great? (School reformers, take note)
Sun Mar 28 2010, Washington Post
A peek inside the wing of the national school reform movement that maintains that the key to change is to focus on who is teaching.
- $3 million or higher
- The current budget for Center for Inspired Teaching is: $1 million to $3 million
- $500k to $1 million
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