New Teacher Center

Pre-Conference Institute 2019

Wednesday, April 3, 2019 | 7:00 AM – 12:30 PM Westin Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort



Institute 1: Reducing Teacher Shortage Through Induction Programs

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Register NowThis interactive session will share the New Teacher Center’s Induction Program Standards and best practices for a professional development system that increases teacher retention. NTC leaders will engage participants in a variety of protocols to examine, analyze, and assess their local induction program practices against NTC’s Program Standards and use this analysis to create an action plan. Participants will review the roles and supports for beginning teachers to determine the level of alignment in existing structures. Strategies to identify and collect data on a program’s impact on teacher retention and effectiveness and student learning will also be explored.


  • Understand the key components and best practices of the NTC induction model, which include NTC’s standards-aligned formative assessment process and tools that support ongoing teaching/coaching inquiry cycles and foster meaningful teacher development and student learning
  • Act upon next steps determined through a process of program assessment against NTC’s Induction Program Standards to support continuous improvement


Keisha RattrayKeisha Rattray is a Senior Program Consultant Keisha joined NTC in 2016, and contributes to both our i3 Scale-Up initiative and contract work in NYC by leading professional learning for principals and mentors, and providing site-based coaching and consultative support for the quality implementation of the model. Keisha helps lead internal learning on the NYC team, including work focused on equity and implicit bias based on Glen Singleton’s work Courageous Conversations about Race. Keisha has held a number of instructional leadership positions in charter schools in Brooklyn, including founding Middle School Director of Community Partnership Charter School and Co-Principal at Achievement First Middle School.




Clarissa WilliamsClarissa Williams, Senior Program Consultant Clarissa supports districts and programs that partner with NTC to implement high-quality systems of support for new and experienced educators by building strong induction and instructional coaching programs that accelerate educator effectiveness. These systems of support include consulting with program and district leaders, providing comprehensive professional learning to adults, facilitating practice forums and providing job-embedded coaching and support to build the skill and capacity of mentors, coaches, and leaders.

Prior to joining NTC in the Fall of 2009, Clarissa worked as an Induction Coach supporting 1st and 2nd year special education teachers across the city of Chicago. Clarissa prepared for her work as a coach by serving as an elementary special education teacher for 6 years in Chicago Public Schools and Suburbs. As a new teacher in Chicago Public Schools she was featured in the Chicago Tribune regarding the High Teacher Turnover Rates from the University of Chicago Consortium study findings. In December of 2010, Clarissa spoke in Washington DC, at a Senate hearing on the importance of funding mentoring/induction programs in schools to support lasting impacts in the lives of students. Clarissa believes in the power of coaching new and experienced educators as a vital part of developing effective teachers and schools that support students to discover their true potential as citizens of this world.




Institute 2: A Systems Approach:
Accelerating Educator Effectiveness for Student Success

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Register NowMost districts employ instructional coaches but few coaches are utilized to their potential and most districts may be wondering about the return on their coaching investment. This interactive session will share the New Teacher Center’s learnings from the field and best practices for both district and school leaders to ensure coaches and the systems in which they work are focused on improving teacher practice and student learning. We will also explore strategies to identify and collect data on a program’s impact on teacher effectiveness and student learning.


  • Understand the key components and best practices of the NTC coaching model, which include NTC’s standards-aligned formative assessment processes that support ongoing inquiry cycles and foster meaningful teacher development and student learning
  • Determine next steps for systems to realize a return on their coaching investment




Desmond Blackburn

Desmond K. Blackburn, Ph.D. is the Chief Executive Officer at New Teacher Center (NTC) and a lifelong educator. Prior to joining NTC, Dr. Blackburn was superintendent for Brevard Public Schools. He has also served the citizens of Broward County Public Schools (BCPS) as a district trainer, a director of school improvement, an area superintendent, and as the Chief School Performance & Accountability Officer. His first position in BCPS was an assignment to teach math at Plantation High. In addition, he serves as a member for both state and national organizations including the Florida Association of District School Superintendents (FADSS), Chiefs For Change, and he is a Broad Academy Fellow.


Laura Baker


Laura Baker is the Vice President of Program Strategy and Implementation at New Teacher Center. Laura joined the New Teacher Center in 2014 and currently leads the Program Delivery department which focuses on ending educational inequities in the classroom by preparing district and school leaders (principals, coaches, mentors, teacher leaders) to develop strong systems of support which build teacher practice and ultimately improve student outcomes. She leads the department’s implementation strategy internally and externally to ensure the delivery and impact of high-quality teacher induction, instructional coaching, and early learning partnerships.