Teacher Leader

Teacher Leader

Teachers are at the center of the student experience, and we are dedicated to finding the very best teachers in the country and giving them everything they need to be effective educators.

Teacher/Principal Pathways

CPS is striving to significantly reduce turnover among first-year teachers. We are collaborating with teachers and principals to address this challenge through the Teacher/Principal Pathways initiative, which provides development paths and meaningful leadership opportunities for teachers.

By investing in our teachers and supporting the progression of their careers within CPS, we are encouraging retention and developing strong, experienced educators.

Teacher/Principal Pathways’ partners include The Joyce Foundation and Crown Family Philanthropies. Thank you!

“Every one of the great things happening at CPS comes back to the classroom, and that’s because of teachers. We are adamant about taking care of our teachers. Good people want good opportunities, and it’s important for us to invest in our people.”

Matt Lyons, Chief Talent Officer for Chicago Public Schools

Developing Diverse Leadership

Diversity is one of our district’s greatest strengths, and our leadership should reflect the diversity of our city and the students we serve. Currently, African American and Latino male educators are underrepresented at the highest levels of CPS leadership. We are working to provide professional development and mentoring for administrators and central-office staff in these underrepresented groups.

With the goal of creating a more diverse district leadership team, we are working to develop 150 aspiring African American and
Latino leaders for leadership roles in the district.

Recruiting Local, Culturally Competent Teachers

Research has shown that learning, disciplinary outcomes, and overall student success are all advanced when students are taught by educators who reflect their own background and experiences. More than 90 percent of Chicago Public School students are Black or Latino, but currently, less than 50 percent of CPS employees are Black or Latino.

First-generation, working-class, and CPS alumni college graduates are less likely to receive teacher certifications due to the cost, but through purposeful recruitment efforts, CPS strives to hire from a pipeline of qualified applicants who reflect the majority of the student population. In order to build a workforce of teachers prepared to work in Chicago Public Schools—teachers who are both culturally competent and actively engaged in their communities—CPS strives to support its own graduates and provide them with pathways to becoming future CPS teachers.

Currently, the CPS Career and Technical Education teaching track graduates about 70 seniors at three high schools per year. Over the next three years, CPS is seeking to grow that program, with a goal of enrolling 500 CPS students annually and graduating 250 students per year.

CPS’s local recruitment partners include The Joyce Foundation and Crown Family Philanthropies. Thank you!

Equal Opportunity Schools Initiative

Opportunity Schools are a cohort of 50 schools designated as the hardest-to-staff due to their geographic location, changes in leadership, and challenging school culture and climate. Teacher retention rate at these schools is just 55 percent on average, making it difficult to improve stability and culture. CPS partners with Equal Opportunity Schools (EOS) to provide teacher recruitment, retention, and leadership opportunities, as well as intensive principal supports, to increase access to high-quality educators across participating schools.

In the first year of this initiative, teacher retention has improved by 15 percent, from 55 percent to 70 percent, with principals reporting 90 percent of targeted teachers expected to stay for another year. Additionally, several dozen previously vacant teacher positions have been filled.

“Working in an Opportunity School has been an unbelievably positive experience for me. The support systems in my school that were already in place have helped me transition from student teaching to having my own classroom. Working closely with the Talent office helped me ensure that I was hired by a school that fit my educational strengths.”

James J., teacher at Sayre Elementary

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