Master Teachers – Call for Applicants

Leading from the Classroom

If we are to realize the kind of improvement we hope to achieve as a district, we must leverage the talent and determination of our teachers and give them opportunities to serve as deeply trained and empowered instructional leaders. By introducing a Master Teacher role that allows outstanding teachers to remain in their classrooms while developing their skills as leaders, we will we retain and elevate our best, and help improve the performance of all.

The Role

A Master Teacher is an exceptional practitioner who leads from the classroom and cultivates their peers’ ability to deliver excellent instruction and increase student achievement. Master Teachers are not administrators, nor do they take on administrative roles. Instead, they teach students half of the day to model best practices and generate useful materials for their school, such as exemplar lessons and student work samples. The other half of the day, they provide a range of support to their peers, such as leading 1-on-1 observation and coaching, facilitating collaborative time, co-planning with small teams, mentoring new or student teachers, or even modeling in other teachers’ classrooms.
The goal of a Master Teacher is to improve a team of teachers’ abilities to effectively plan for and deliver high-quality instruction in pursuit of better outcomes for students. By creating distributive leadership structures in schools, Master Teachers —in collaboration with school leaders—will increase opportunities for feedback and growth to drive increased student achievement, while building their own capacity as leaders.
Master Teacher roles will be available in literacy and mathematics, K-12, and all Master Teachers will earn a stipend of $5,000 annually.

The Application

To become a Master Teacher for next school year, candidates must first gain acceptance into an eligibility pool for hire. Candidates will submit a detailed lesson plan and aligned student work, a statement of interest and resumé, and a formal letter of recommendation from an administrator or peer at their school. These materials will be reviewed by a selection committee of senior district leaders, principals, and representatives from the Detroit Federation of Teachers. Candidates with the highest potential to thrive based on the application will enter an eligibility pool for hire by our schools. At the school level, principals will convene a selection committee of at least two teachers and members of their leadership team to interview eligible candidates and find the best fit for their school community.

The Value

Participating educators will receive more than just a stipend for taking on this leadership role. The district will make a true investment in all Master Educators. In addition to access to content and pedagogical professional development that will allow them to hone their craft and model for others, Master Teachers will participate in specialized training on the skills and strategies necessary to lead adults successfully, including designing and facilitating adult learning and collaboration, coaching, managing conflict, and leading for equity.


Teaching Experience
At least 3 years of successful teaching experience
Valid certification in the subject area he or she will support
Highly Effective or Effective Ratings (or equivalent) in each of the last three school years


First application deadline
January 2, 2018
Second application deadline
February 2, 2018

Apply today

Frequently Asked Questions

Are only math and literacy teachers eligible to be a Master Teacher?
For 2018-19, Master Teachers will support K-12 math and literacy only, though we may explore adding additional subject areas in future years. Any teacher that has valid certification in K-12 math or literacy, whether they are currently teaching those subjects or not, is eligible to apply.
Will Master Teachers only teach the subject they are supporting?
In K-5 settings where teachers typically teach all subject areas, Literacy Master Teachers will lead Literacy and Social Studies instruction, and Mathematics Master Teachers will lead Mathematics and Science instruction. In settings where teachers are departmentalized, Master Teachers will typically only teach one subject, often at multiple grade levels.
What should I prepare before I start my online application?
Before you begin your application, we suggest that you do the following pre-work:

  1. Confirm that you meet the eligibility requirements for the role (outlined in the Qualifications section on the reverse).
  2. Gather a recent lesson plan (from the 2017-18 school year) and at least 5 samples of student work generated during that lesson save them on your computer using the following naming convention: YOURLASTNAME_YOURFIRSTNAME_LessonPlan, YOURLASTNAME_YOURFIRSTNAME_StudentWork
  3. Update your resume and save it using the following naming convention: YOURLASTNAME_YOURFIRSTNAME_resume.
  4. Prepare a brief (500 word) statement of interest describing why you want to become a Master Teacher
  5. Identify a current colleague or administrator to serve as your reference. Ask them to send you a brief letter of recommendation for the role. Once you receive the letter, save it using the following naming convention: YOURLASTNAME_YOURFIRSTNAME_recommendation.
  6. Determine if you wish to be considered for the Superintendent’s Fellowship.
What is the Superintendent’s Fellowship?
The Fellowship is a unique leadership opportunity for a subset of teachers accepted into the eligibility pool. Two candidates per grade level, one for math and one for literacy, will be selected to take part in this group. These Fellows will embark on a signature experience that develops them as practitioners and leaders. The experience will begin with a celebratory induction into the Fellowship, including recognition from local dignitaries and a chance to network with senior district and community leaders. Induction will be quickly followed by a transformative professional learning experience at the UnboundEd Standards Institute in Los Angeles, CA. There, Fellows will spend a week in deep study of the Common Core Standards and strong instructional materials and be given time to network with other motivated educators from around the country. Attendance at the UnboundEd Standards Institute (January 28-February 2), as well as a willingness to participate and lead at events during the 2017-18 school year, such as curriculum review committees, is required to participate as a Fellow.
When are applications due?
Any candidate who would like to be considered for the Superintendent’s Fellowship must submit their application by midnight on January 2, 2018. Candidates who would like to be considered for the eligibility pool, but do not wish to apply for the Superintendent’s Fellowship, may apply using the second deadline: midnight on February 2, 2018.
What happens after I submit my application?
Your materials will be reviewed by a selection committee of senior district leaders, principals, and representatives from the Detroit Federation of Teachers. Candidates with solid initial applications will be invited to a panel interview where they will share their work on a brief candidate project and answer a standardized set of questions from the panel. The interviewees who demonstrate the highest potential to thrive will enter an eligibility pool for hire by our schools. To select Master Teachers, Principals will convene a selection committee, including their leadership team and at least two teachers, to screen eligible candidates and find the best fit for their school community.
What if I am selected for the Fellowship, but I cannot attend the UnboundEd Institute?
Unfortunately, only candidates who can attend the Institute will be able to take part in the Fellowship. However, you will still be invited to join the general eligibility pool for schools to consider as they select their Master Teachers.
If I am hired by a school, are there other requirements I will need to fulfill?
By signing up to be a Master Teacher, you are signing up to lead – and to grow. That’s why to earn your Master Teacher stipend and serve in the role, you will be required to take part in initial and ongoing leadership development. In summer 2018, you will be required to attend no more than 5 days of initial training, which will feature expert sessions on instructional leadership, content, pedagogy, and adult facilitation to jump start your success in the role. During the school year, you will also be required to attend monthly professional development, no more than 10 hours of professional development per month outside of the contract hours. Applicants accepted into the eligibility pool will learn more information following their admittance.
Who can I contact if I have further questions?
We have a dedicated email address to handle all inquiries. Please contact
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