All Challenge Network workshops, academies, coaching, and on-campus work are guided by our mission and values, as well as a commitment to delivering the highest-quality professional learning.

We hold teaching & learning at the center of all educator practice. We work with professionals at many levels - school leaders, specialists, teachers and others - to ensure that what happens in classrooms is effective, empowered, and inspired instruction.

We model effective adult learning practices by:

  • Approaching all we do as co-learners and coaches, rather than experts
  • Minimizing “sit-and-get”
  • Giving participants ample time for practice, conversation and peer learning
  • Facilitating conversations around common dilemmas and best practices across districts, schools and classrooms
  • Helping educators put research-based ideas and plans into action
  • Honoring the time, expertise, goals and priorities of the individuals we work with
  • Bringing coherence to all of our work, so that all educators engaged in our network begin to develop a common language and set of tools

We focus on the middle grades (4-9). Our staff expertise spans K-12 and beyond, but we concentrate on serving schools and educators in upper elementary through high school transition, because this is a critical time in every student’s development and academic life.

We promote instructional best practices that work across content areas. We help educators study, identify and practice building student-centered classrooms where:

  • Students and educators are both immersed in a strong culture of continuous learning
  • Coherent, well-designed units of study help students find relevance, make connections, and master content within multiple contexts
  • Teacher talk time during daily lessons is brief, powerful, focused on modeling strategies, and allows students sufficient time to discuss, ask questions, and practice new learning
  • Student learning is assessed continually, both formally and informally, and students are given frequent formative feedback and coaching to strengthen performance
  • Technology and other resources are leveraged to enhance and personalize student learning

We go deep into core content areas. Our mathematics, reading and writing workshops and academies promote high-leverage strategies that are content-specific and tailored to the instructional calendars and priorities of teachers. See a list of the mathematics and literacy experts we love in the left column.

We help school leaders stay focused on student learning. Our leadership workshops and academies go beyond management to help leaders strengthen the schoolwide vision, expectations, systems and culture that support student learning. As teacher observations become more important, we help leaders coach and support teachers for strong classroom practices. Our leadership work is aligned with Robert Marzano’s School Leadership Evaluation Model and ISLCC  standards (Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium).

We bring our organizational values of respect, creativity, optimism, resolve, passion and teamwork to all that we do.