May 2020
Dear Colleagues,

Whenever we finally get back to school full time, what do we want to raise up or do more of because of what we’ve learned in these months? 

Einstein famously said “In the midst of every crisis lies great opportunity.” Navigating the pandemic crisis for us in education has provoked thoughtful reaction to help us balance the stress with the reality of what can be done and with human limits. (See Superintendent Peter Light’s letter to the Acton, MA community recently.) But watching from the inside what’s going on with our teachers, our students and families, and our own children and families has been eye opening. It has shone a light on a great many features of schooling, the inequalities, the human needs, and also the heights to which our fellow educators can rise. 

The PBS show “ In this Together: A PBS American Portrait Story , ” which airs on May 8, captures the spirit of generosity and inclusion we have seen rise around us.  “The Call to Unite“, a 24-hour streamathon (, celebrates actions that come from belief that we can act compassionately and for the common good. 

Out of all this complexity, what will we want to do more of or do better? 
  • Personal relationship building with students?
  • Community and caring amongst students?
  • School connection with families?
  • Meaningful tasks for academic work?
  • Science of teaching and learning?
  • Rigorous tasks and better scaffolding?
  • Strengthen students’ belief in themselves?
  • Other?

Our May 28 th  webinar will share ideas we have gathered from around the country and the choices being made in districts from a panel of innovative educators. Register here .

And join us on May 7 to hear from Assistant Superintendent, Gail Dahling-Hench and a panel of educators about what is working for them. Register here .

Yours sincerely, 
Read Superintendent Light's full letter to families here .
RBT Free Webinar Series
Thursday, May 7 at 3:00pm EST
On May 7, we welcome Assistant Superintendent Gail Dahling-Hench from Madison, CT for a discussion about translating curriculum online. She will be joined by a panelist of educators including:

Julie Craven, Head of School from Cambridge, MA
Dan Swartz, Assistant Superintendent from Mundelein, IL
Annais Diaz, Bilingual Coordinator from Mundelein, IL

Thursday, May 28 at 3:00pm EST
Webinar Recording and Resources Available
Thanks to all who joined us on Thursday, April 23 for a discussion virtual pedagogy. We were honored to have a panelist of experienced educators join the conversation.

A recording of the webinar and a link to all resources mentioned can be found here .

We intend to keep updating the resources, so send along anything you've found helpful to Leah Levine at

The recording from April 9 can be found here .
Open Enrollment Opportunities
Full details here .
Studying Skillful Teaching
(37.5 hours)
Instructor: Deb Reed
7/6, 7/7, 7/8, 7/16
Virtual meetings 9-11am and offline assignments
9/22, 10/21
Timing TBD

Analyzing Teaching for Student Results
(42 hours)
Instructors: Rick Rogers, Pat Wiedel, and Deb Reed
7/13, 7/14, 7/21, 7/28
Virtual meetings 9-11am and offline assignments

9/23, 10/19, 12/4, plus coaching
Timing TBD

ATSR Refresher: Strengthening Instructional Leadership in Observing and Analyzing Teaching for Student Results
Instructor: Laura Cooper
This is a 1-day remote course with virtual
meetings and offline assignments.

Instructor: Sue McGregor
Fall Dates TBD

Making Student Thinking Visible Online Course
RBT's Professional Resources
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 other text books here.
  • Review our articles and additional resources here.
  • Review our comprehensive video library here.
  • Review our course offerings here.