The Teaching Firm

TFOA will use its innovative management structure called the “Teaching Firm” to operate its charter school, one that takes advantage of the unique strengths of the professional-partnership organizational model to maximize the acquisition, development and retention of top human capital to serve our students, achieve our mission and realize our vision.

The “Teaching Firm” is a hybrid of the traditional nonprofit-charter school structure and the “professional service firm” (the management structure used by law firms, medical practices, investment banks, etc.): while like the traditional nonprofit in that the Board of Trustees maintains ultimate control and close supervision over the organization, the Trustees delegate the day to day management, leadership and operation of the school to a small group of its teacher-leaders (the “Partners”), who, like law firm partners who continue to practice law, will continue to teach fulltime and divide the school-wide level responsibilities among the group, each Partner taking on a distinct leadership/management role. The remaining classrooms in the school will be staffed with “Associates” (both “Senior” and “Junior”), who are teachers with anywhere from 0 to 5 years of teaching experience or equivalent. Like all top law firms, the expectation will be that every Associate is working towards becoming a Partner, a teacherleader who is ready to join in partnership with their colleagues to open and lead more schools.

TFOA does not have one traditional “Principal”–instead the three (3) “Partners” are the co-school leaders, delegated full authority over the school as a group (as a “partnership”); with the support of an Executive Officer and administrative staff to manage and operate the day to day business and operations of the school, the Partners will be able to focus on their twin responsibilities of teaching (students and Associates), and leading (serving as the strategic planners and decision makers for the enterprise). As a group, the Partners report directly to the Board of Trustees and are held accountable for the success of the charter school. TFOA will begin with three (3) Associates and three (3) Partners, where each Partner will manage and supervise a specific set of enterprise level responsibilities (Business-Operations (“Managing Partner”), Instruction-Assessment-Data (“Pedagogy Partner”), and Special Education/ELLs/Special Family Matters (“Stakeholder Services Partner”)).

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