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TNTP Re-imagine Teaching

Greenhouse Schools

How Schools Can Build Cultures Where Teachers and Students Thrive

March 27, 2012

Greenhouse schools are able to keep effective teachers and grow students by prioritizing great teaching above all else.

We’ve come across schools that are exceptional at accelerating student learning by developing and keeping great teachers. We call them “greenhouse schools”—schools with carefully fostered cultures that help teachers and students reach greater heights. But what is it that they are doing differently? 

Greenhouse Schools explains what we learned from surveying thousands of teachers in 250 schools nationwide about several dimensions of their schools’ cultures. 

Key Findings:

  • Teachers want schools with a strong instructional culture—a culture that fosters great teaching.
  • Schools with strong instructional cultures retain more of their top teachers and help students learn more.
  • A stronger instructional culture is within reach of any committed school leader.
  • Dramatic improvements in instructional culture are possible—sometimes in just one year. 

Based on the results we also present a roadmap for principals to put these lessons to use in their own schools right now. Improving instructional culture is hard work, but it’s also well within the grasp of any committed school or district leader.