Ellen Moir

Ashoka Fellow
Santa Cruz, United States
Fellow Since 2011
My Work: improving learning for underserved students by accelerating the effectiveness of new teachers.

Check out this video of Ellen's Work:


Related TopicsChildren & Youth, Education / Learning


This profile was prepared when Ellen Moir was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2011.
The New Idea
Ellen is filling the gap between the training teachers receive before they have their own classrooms and the skills and support teachers need to respond and thrive amidst the realities of the classroom.

Beginning with a simple premise—that the best teachers of new teachers are expert teachers—Ellen is working to establish a comprehensive induction program for all new teachers, and to build a corps of professional mentors made up of expert teachers. Through the induction program, new teachers receive one-on-one mentoring with rigorously selected and highly trained veteran teachers, tailored professional development, and a formative assessment system designed to identify specific areas of need in their classroom and to match those areas with learning goals and teaching tools that can be easily embedded into day-to-day practice. The result leads to improved teacher effectiveness and increased retention of beginning teachers in turn, producing higher student learning and performance outcomes.

The impact, however, is by no means limited to each new teacher and his or her classroom: By equipping expert teachers with the leadership capacity to effectively establish team goals, provide adult feedback, and oversee multiple classrooms at once, Ellen is building a powerful professional development ladder and the skills needed to exercise continued leadership in education. Whereas most programs rely on part-time or volunteer mentors, the New Teacher Center (NTC) model trains and equips full-time mentors, who go on to serve as principals, district administrators, and internal advocates for improved teaching practices within their schools.

With an extensive array of partners across the country and a widely acclaimed e-mentoring program, the NTC is now active in all fifty states, having served more than 1.5 million students in the last year alone. Ellen is regularly called upon by district leaders and policymakers within the U.S. and from around the world eager to start their own induction programs.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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