It’s time to build the Next Education Workforce

Learn how to build team-based staffing models


The default one-teacher, one-classroom model of schooling is unsustainable for most educators. As a result, our education system does not reliably deliver quality learning outcomes and experiences for nearly enough people. With the disruptions caused by COVID, we have a once-in-a-generation opportunity — and obligation — to fundamentally redesign how we staff schools. The School Superintendents Association through its Learning 2025 Network and Arizona State University’s Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College have teamed up to help school systems build the Next Education Workforce. Below, we lay out the challenge, the opportunity and the next steps.

Teams of educators with distributed expertise

We believe that teams of educators who share a common, larger roster of students can work together to deliver better outcomes for learners and make the job of teaching more rewarding and sustainable.

Graphic demonstrating the move from individual classrooms with one educator to a larger classroom with all educators working together

Teams of educators capitalize on their distributed expertise. Each educator brings a set of unique skills and strengths. Some are better at communicating with families; others excel at building class culture or data-driven instruction. Team-based models allow them to lean into their strengths. Furthermore, if an educator is absent, the team can dynamically adjust to minimize disruptions to learning.

Opportunity to create more dynamic staffing models

Moving away from the one-teacher, one-classroom model of staffing schools creates new opportunities for role differentiation and specialization. Schools implementing these models have created new positions for teachers who lead teams; designed specialized roles for paraeducators, part-time and retired teachers; and figured out how to create sustainable, paid teacher residencies. They have created new cross-team roles and meaningfully incorporated community educators as members of their teams. The model below captures some of these ideas.

Models look different in elementary and secondary environments. And differently in rural and urban communities. Context drives the design. For a range of what some current designs look like, browse Next Education Workforce school spotlights.

View spotlights

MLFTC is studying outcomes associated with these models and very early results from pilot sites are encouraging: greater reading and mathematics growth and improved attendance at the elementary level; reduced referrals and suspensions and increased Algebra passing rates in secondary settings. Early educator outcomes suggest positive differences in leading indicators associated with educator retention.

Next steps for launching team-based models

 Learning Cohort

Between September 2022 and January 2023, we will host a series of five virtual meetings, in which you will:

  • Hear from superintendents and principals who have designed team-based staffing models
  • Receive concrete resources for sharing about team-based staffing models with important stakeholder groups
  • See examples of the range of staffing models other systems have designed
  • Determine in which schools and with which grade level(s) your district might launch team-based models

Participants in the Learning Cohort will also receive invitations to learning visits hosted by ASU and Arizona districts, as well as discounted registration to the annual Next Education Workforce National Summit (virtual, February 8-9).

Cohort fee:

  • $2,000 per district team (up to 5 individuals)


View syllabus