August 8, 2019

On September 12 th  I’m going to do an intro day hosted by Lake Zurich on our organization, Research for Better Teaching (RBT), and our courses and consulting services. We have worked in the Chicago area for three decades in a number of districts, but would now like to make ourselves more broadly known as motivation has increased to improve the quality of teaching and leading and pursue more serious efforts to collapse the achievement gap. If one holds teaching skill to include cultural proficiency, SEL, and planning expertise and leadership skill to include courage and skill to deal with mediocrity, then we have something to offer. We have been at it for 40 years and learned significant lessons about improving teaching and leading that can be sustainable through superintendent turnover and rotating school boards. 
Please click the link below if you’d like to join us. There is no charge for the day, but space is quite limited. So please click the link below if you are interested and we’ll send you details. 
Jon Saphier

Join us on
Thursday, September 12, 2019
Lake Zurich School District
Analyzing Teaching for Student Results
  • Administrators
  • Instructional Coaches
  • Teacher Leaders

This is a course about how all those who observe and give feedback to teachers improve classroom teaching and learning . Though precise about how to improve teacher evaluation skills with practice and feedback from the instructor, the course develops numerous other approaches to improving teaching beyond evaluation. 

Leaders learn how to zero in on high-leverage teaching skills and develop a common language and concept system to provide results-oriented reports and feedback that are credible and convincing.

"It was a tremendous learning experience, and is something that in such a short period of time has given me the ability to make instructional change."

-ATSR Participant
Adult Professional Culture
  • School leaders
  • Coaches
  • Team leaders 
  • Central office leaders, especially those who supervise principals, and designers of leader certification programs. 
This is a course about the everyday behaviors of school leaders who build strong adult professional cultures. Trust is the foundation of everything we will do to strengthen culture and without it nothing much will happen . But once it is established, that trust translates over time into trust of one’s colleagues. How do successful leaders build that? Trust that what? What do they do in everyday behavior that results in it? We delve into these questions in considerable detail and give participants tools to self-assess and take action.

Social Emotional Learning:
Planning for Sustainable Systemic Implementation
  • District Decision Makers
  • School leaders
Social emotional learning (SEL) is rightfully at the top of most districts’ agendas these days. After all, “Emotions are everywhere” and have profound influence on student learning. This is a course for district level planning teams who want to create a coherent long-range plan for developing the SEL skills of their students and go deeper than simple adoptions of “programs”.
Participants learn the twelve distinct approaches to SEL in the field and review the current status of their school/district’s implementation in relation to the twelve. Then they begin to develop a clear, comprehensive SEL plan most in line with what their students need next. The course joins our in-depth knowledge of the field with our expertise, acquired over 40 years, in long term planning for success.
High-Expectations Teaching
For students to believe that "Smart is Something You Can Get," they must hear that we believe in their capacity to learn and be in an environment where teachers' everyday behaviors send reinforcing messages. This program teaches what it looks like and sounds like when a teacher acts authentically from a growth mindset.
  • Classroom teachers
  • School leaders

Making Student Thinking Visible
“The teachers can’t get enough! Teachers rave about the training even given the intensity and workload. They are employing strategies and insights from the training into their repertoire and remark of noticeable improvement in student retention of content.”
Janice Gauthier
Interim Superintendent
Everett Public Schools, MA

  • Classroom teachers
  • School leaders
This course equips teachers to create a robust talk environments where students talk more than teachers and at a high level of thinking. When skillfully applied, these skills build students’ social skills, classroom climate, and high levels of engagement in meaningful ways across grade levels and content areas.
Studying Skillful Teaching:
Promoting Motivation, Learning, and Achievement

Studying Skillful Teaching is our flagship course designed for teachers to build their capacity to improve their daily practice and their students’ achievement through lesson planning, high expectations, formative assessment, and cultural proficiency. The course includes development of a common language and concept system for talking about teaching together that is aligned to each state’s professional standards. It is delivered in such a way as to cultivate collegiality and experimentation among participants.
  • Teachers (at least 1 year of teaching experience recommended)
  • Mentors
  • Teacher Leaders
  • Instructional Coaches
  • Instructional Leaders
  • Supervisors and Evaluators of Teaching and Learning
"This course was one of the most effective and influential courses I've ever taken! I learned so much throughout this course, and I feel like my teaching has improved, my planning has improved, and even my attitude towards teaching has improved!"
-SST Participant
Coaching High-Impact Teacher Teams
  • Coaches, Teacher Leaders, and Facilitators of Teacher Teams
  • Professional Developers and the Administrators who supervise them

High-impact teacher teams build their collective expertise in the practices that matter most for increasing student achievement . These teams:
  1. Clarify the learning goals so students are crystal clear on what they are learning, why they are learning, and what success looks like
  2. Plan for and infuse formative assessment practices throughout their instruction
  3. Analyze results based on pre-established success criteria and identify specific errors in student thinking
  4. Take timely, targeted action to provide feedback, re-teach, and extend learning  

There is limited seating. Register today!
We will confirm your attendance and all details later in the summer.
Thursday, September 12, 2019
Lake Zurich School District
8am - 4pm
Research For Better Teaching
Research for Better Teaching (RBT) is a professional development organization dedicated to improving classroom teaching and school leadership. Founded in 1979 by Jonathon D. Saphier, RBT works to strengthen organizational culture and to institutionalize the study of teaching within schools and throughout school districts. 

Our expertise in teaching is complemented by the realization of the need for skillful leaders and that data offers us one of the most powerful levers educators have to improve student achievement. This expertise is embodied in RBT’s publications, products, professional development programs, and consulting to apply a focused, coherent, and systemic approach.

RBT offers a comprehensive array of professional development products and courses in  Skillful Teaching, Skillful Leadership, and Skillful Data Use .

  • Review our text books here.
  • Review our articles and additional resources here.
  • Review our comprehensive video library here.
  • Review our course offerings here.
Please contact Leah Levine at
(978) 274-0480 or with any questions.