Career Opportunities

We seek to build a team dedicated to the goal of dramatically improving student achievement, grounded in the belief that children from all backgrounds can succeed when given the opportunities they deserve, and committed to the core values of our department.

Positions at State Special Schools

Full-Time Openings

Director of Reading Coaching for Large Districts and Educational Leaders,Office of Reading

Reports to:

Executive Director of the Office of Reading

Location:

Tennessee Department of Education
Andrew Johnson Tower, 12th Floor
710 James Robertson Parkway
Nashville, TN 37243

Position Description:

The Director of Reading Coaching for Large Districts and Educational Leaders will lead and support the strategy and programming of the department’s statewide literacy coach initiative. This position will also work closely with other teams that lead coaching work to ensure a shared vision and alignment across all department coaching projects.

Position Role and Responsibilities:
  • Support coaching network in Tennessee’s four largest districts and other Reading Coach Consultants as assigned
  • Maintain thorough and accurate plans and records and communicate these effectively with stakeholders
  • Support content development for Regional Literacy Coach training and ongoing programming, particularly training for large districts and administrators statewide
  • Gather and analyze data on coaching policies and practices in order to propose needed changes to supervisor; implement changes when approved
  • Plan and execute events, including the coordination of logistics
  • Collaborate with Director of Reading Coaching regarding IFL Math Coaching Project, with specific attention to identifying and assessing the impact of shared practices
  • Partner with other divisions on coaching projects; document consistent department-wide practices related to coaching and propose recommendations for universal practice and monitoring
  • Participate in professional learning opportunities and other state, regional, and local meetings as assigned
  • Support special projects as requested

The ideal candidate is a self-motivated and detail-oriented leader with a strong background in literacy, instructional coaching, while also having experience in administration. Candidates should be passionate about coaching and literacy and believe in the potential of students, teachers, and districts.

Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree required in relevant field, Master’s preferred
  • Experience as an administrator or instructional coach, with a record of success achieving clearly-defined outcomes
  • Significant project management experience
  • Excellent organization and ability to meet deadlines; strong detail orientation
  • Very strong oral and written communication skills
  • Ability to build positive relationships with diverse team members and stakeholders
  • Some travel is required, must have a driver’s license
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint)
  • Ability to use sound judgment to identify and creatively solve problems with a solutions-oriented, “whatever it takes” mindset.
Successful candidate will exhibit the following:
  • Excellence
  • Optimism
  • Judgment
  • Courage
  • Teamwork

Salary and Benefits:

The annual salary is commensurate with qualifications. A comprehensive benefits package is included.

To Apply:

Please email a resume and cover letter to Grace Jones (Grace.Jones@tn.gov). Questions concerning this post may be directed to Becky Cox (Becky.Cox@tn.gov).  The closing date for applications is December 7, 2016.

K-12 Science Coordinator

Reports To:

Christina Fox, Director of TCAP Assessment Design

Location:

Tennessee Department of Education
710 James Robertson Parkway  
Nashville, TN 37243

Position Description:

The Science Coordinator is charged with coordinating the content components of the Tennessee State Standards in K-12 science.  This person will be responsible for ambitious goals for improvement in student achievement on the ACT and State level assessments in science and developing a bold strategy to support the course structure and educator resources in grades K-12 as well as the bridge to postsecondary opportunities. The Science Coordinator will work with a group of leading educators from across the state and country to ensure deep state understanding of the expectations of the Tennessee State Standards in K-12 science and inform all aspects of content support (including assessment design, standards support, and instructional materials).

Specific Position Responsibilities:

  • Lead the assessment design work including blueprint design and item specs.
  • Reviewing assessment items for alignment to content standards as well as meeting expectations of the standards.
  • Support the development and dissemination of high-quality resources and training content for science.
  • Help shape the agenda for state-wide and local trainings to support continuous improvement of science instruction
  • Work with CORE offices across the state to support the sharing of best practice
  • Work closely across divisions to support the bridge to post-secondary and underserved and special populations
  • Support LEAs in the selection of science textbooks and other curricular resources
  • Support LEAs as they implement the Tennessee State Standards in K-12 science

Qualifications:

  • A degree in biology or chemistry is preferred; An advanced degree is preferred
  • A track record of dramatically improving student achievement in science
  • Evidence of continuous improvement and ongoing learning orientation. 
  • Desire to work with educators from across the state and country to deepen perspective of effective instruction. We are looking for someone who will coordinate state-wide learning in science
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills and a demonstrated ability to communicate complex matters with educators in a clear and empowering manner.  Experience working with diverse teams successfully.
  • Strong organization skills and track record of managing projects to meet deadlines and achieve milestones over time

Successful candidate will exhibit the following:

  • Excellence
  • Optimism
  • Sound Judgment
  • Courage
  • Teamwork

Salary and Benefits:

Salary is competitive and commensurate with qualifications. In addition, a comprehensive benefits package is included.

To Apply:

Please e-mail a cover letter, resume, and contact information for three professional references to Tammy.L.Shelton@tn.gov. Deadline to apply is December 21, 2016.

Special Education Intervention Specialist, Office of Special Populations

Reports To:

Theresa Nicholls, Executive Director, Office of Special Populations

Location:

Tennessee Department of Education
710 James Robertson Parkway  
Nashville, TN 37243

Position Description: 

The Special Education Interventionist Specialist will be an integral part of the alignment between the division of Special Populations and the literacy work of the department. This position will support LEAs in meeting specific goals for the achievement of students with disabilities by improving instructional practices and building systems of interventions, including those for students with dyslexia.

Specific Position Responsibilities:

  • Provide active leadership and support for effective instructional strategies, techniques, and methods grounded in research and focused on improved achievement for students with disabilities, including those with dyslexia.
  • Provide teacher training on instructional practices that increase access to general education for students with disabilities. 
  • Develop and provide teacher training on research based intervention practices that are designed to increase student achievement and close skill gaps, with an emphasis on reading intervention practices.
  • Use data to inform instructional practices and guide systems change.
  • Develop and provide teacher training on instructionally appropriate Individual Educational Programs (IEP’s) and the alignment of appropriate intervention based on student need.
  • Develop support plans for LEAs that require targeted support.
  • Collaborate with department staff on the needs of students with disabilities within all department initiatives. 

Qualifications:

  • Special Education Certification with a minimum of 5 years classroom experience as a special educator.
  • Minimum of a Master’s Degree in Special Education preferred.
  • Belief that all children can learn and that expectations must remain high for all students.
  • Comfort with some travel and willingness to attend state conferences.
  • The ability to engage key stakeholders, communicate and collaborate effectively to improve outcomes for students. This includes strong written and verbal skills.
  • Familiarity with the challenges facing education reform efforts in TN and the U.S.
  • A willingness to proactively take on leadership roles and possess a strong work ethic as well as problem solving skills.
  • The ability to write and deliver high-impact presentations and training modules.
  • The capacity to leverage internal and external networks and to engage in team problem solving.

Salary and Benefits:

Salary is competitive and commensurate with qualifications. In addition, a comprehensive benefits package is included.

To Apply:

Please e-mail a cover letter, resume, and contact information for three professional references to Theresa.Nicholls@tn.gov. Applications are due by December 12, 2016.

Temporary/Part-Time

Director, Improvement Networks (Independent Contractor)

Contractor Managed By:

Executive Director, Improvement Networks – Mary Kathryn Wells (CONTRACTOR)

Location:

Tennessee  (Work to be performed from home or a remote location within the state of Tennessee, with in-person meetings and travel expected)

Contract Description:  

The Tennessee Department of Education (TDOE) is working with the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching to form improvement networks led by the state’s regional CORE offices. Tennessee’s improvement networks bring districts together to collaborate in seeking practical solutions to a defined problem of practice – in this case, ensuring that all students in Tennessee read well by third grade – and engaging in continuous improvement cycles to learn what works in solving the problem in their specific context. In the near term, the aim of these improvement networks is to improve early reading outcomes (read more about Tennessee’s focus on early literacy here).  In the longer-term, these improvement networks are intended to shift how the TDOE empowers and builds capacity of regions and districts to problem solve, find better solutions, and improve student achievement in their own unique contexts – part of the effort to empower districts under the Commissioner’s Tennessee Succeeds strategic plan.

Reporting to the executive director, improvement networks, the contractor will collaborate closely with CORE office executive directors and the Carnegie Foundation to oversee the initiation, development and management of these improvement networks and build staff capacity in the application of improvement science as well as early-elementary literacy. The contractor will serve as a liaison between the TDOE central office, the regional CORE offices, Carnegie Foundation, and the network. This person will be responsible for teaching, coaching, and supporting TDOE and CORE staff, and district leaders in the initiation and development of improvement networks and the use of improvement science -- including and especially testing change ideas in elementary schools through Plan, Do, Study, Act cycles.

The director of improvement networks will be a critical member of a newly-established expertise group focused on the development of improvement networks in Tennessee as a means of solving complex challenges in student achievement.  This is a unique opportunity for an individual to learn and to build district capacity to problem solve in a way that will serve as a national model for states and districts across the country.

Success in this contract is heavily dependent upon:
  • Relationships: the ability to build strong relationships centered on empathy for others, candor, and a strong sense of customer service (including being incredibly student-centered and practitioner-centered) and responsiveness in order to support the success of others, create successful collaboration, and develop strong partnerships 
  • Coaching adults:  the ability to coach and build the capacity of other adults, design adult learning experiences, and support their learning in a way that empowers them
  • Humility and curiosity:  genuine humility and an ongoing curiosity to learn and continuously improve – the ideal person for this role sees him/herself as a life-long improver

Scope of Contract Work:

  • Learn and become an expert in network initiation, development and management
  • Learn and become expert in the application of improvement science
  • Use early-elementary literacy expertise to prioritize strategies
  • Support the executive director in overseeing all aspects of the facilitation and implementation of improvement networks in Tennessee, ensuring all milestones and deadlines are met and work is achieving the desired outcomes
  • Foster productive team dynamics and develop collective investment in a common aim
  • Design and facilitate adult learning experiences that support the initiation and development of improvement networks
  • Thought-partner with and coach adults to achieve the outcomes they are seeking
  • Collaborate with multiple stakeholders, including the Carnegie team, other TDOE central office staff, district-level leaders, our external research partners, and others in a way that achieves intended results
  • Manage relationships with a variety of constituents, including school leaders, external partners, and TDOE staff
  • Navigate complex school and district contexts
  • Manage communications with all parties
  • Thought-partner and collaborate with others in support of this work, including sharing effective practices and lessons learned about how best to do this work
  • Assist CORE offices in supporting districts as they engage in continuous improvement cycles, including observing their work in schools and providing feedback
  • Support regional CORE offices with day-to-day execution of improvement networks, including managing event logistics, planning content, drafting communications, ensuring effective facilitation, incorporating feedback from participants, etc.
  • Contribute to grant reporting as needed
  • Engage stakeholders in collective effort directed at a common purpose
  • See across sites/districts/schools and be able to surface and spread important learning across the network as well as find and eliminate barriers for those on the ground to do this work well
  • Travel expected approximately 20-25% (1-2 days per week, almost entirely within the state of Tennessee; much of which could possibly be day trips if the contractor is based out of Nashville)

Qualifications Sought:

  • Experience coaching adults
  • Experience designing and facilitating adult-learning sessions, including facilitating communities of practice or cohort learning
  • Strong strategic thinking and creative problem-solving skills
  • Strong networking and relationship-building skills
  • Instructional expertise in early-elementary literacy (ideal, at minimum general instructional expertise is required)
  • Outstanding project management skills
  • Organization and attention to detail
  • Ability to collaborate across multiple stakeholders who bring different perspectives and expertise to the work
  • Ability to manage multiple moving parts in a fast-paced environment
  • Exhibition of a growth mindset
  • Understanding of and experience with improvement science or cycles of continuous improvement
  • Excel at operating independently; solutions-oriented in solving challenges and overcoming obstacles
  • Extensive K-12 public education experience required
  • Aligned in thought and action with TDOE’s core values (https://www.tn.gov/education/topic/core-values)
  • Expertise in early elementary literacy preferred but not necessarily required

For more information on the Carnegie Foundation and its work with improvement networks, please see their website:www.carnegiefoundation.org/our-ideas.

For more information about what these improvement networks will look like in Tennessee, please see here:  http://tnclassroomchronicles.org/help-help-districts-network-together-solve-common-challenges/.

Candidates of color and candidates who otherwise represent traditionally underrepresented backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply.

Contract compensation:

This opportunity is not as a TDOE employee, but is a contract for services through July 31, 2018. Compensation is highly competitive.  Additionally, this is a strong professional development opportunity as the improvement science mastered in this role is highly transferrable to future work across education and beyond.

To Apply:

Please send the following to Mary Kathryn Wells at Marykathryn.Wells@tn.gov:

  • A thoughtful cover letter that describes your interest in this particular role,
  • Current resume, and
  • Names, titles, and contact information for three professional references (references will not be contacted without the applicant’s knowledge and explicit permission)