Lead a CSG

Curriculum Study Groups are a powerful way to transform teaching and learning through online collaboration among teachers of the same subject and grade, under the guidance of master teachers.

Our Goals

  • Magnifying the impact of our best teachers, while providing them with potentially the most powerful professional development of their careers
  • Reducing needless reinvention of the wheel, by enabling participants to build on the experience and resources of master teachers
  • Providing tangible support for lesson planning, instruction, and assessment that goes beyond what is offered in published curriculum
  • Making high-quality, curriculum-based professional development available to any teacher, anywhere
  • Assisting all teachers in addressing the new challenge of helping students meet the Common Core State Standards and other rigorous learning standards in specific content areas.

Program Components

  • Live video curriculum session(s) totaling 1 hour per week, outlining plans for the week
  • Access to Master Teacher’s entire range of curricular resources, including unit and lesson plans, handouts, assessments, rubrics, organizational tips, materials lists, activity instructions, and more
  • Tips for making modifications to published curriculum materials to meet students’ needs
  • Online collaboration forum for sharing ideas with other participants
  • Note: If your CSG focuses on a particular published curriculum, you must purchase your own copy of that curriculum. Master Teachers will distribute only materials they have created themselves, not copyrighted materials from publishers.

It’s not for everyone, but this intense professional growth and leadership experience can be extremely rewarding. Do you:

  • Consider yourself an expert among teachers in your grade level and subject area?
  • Believe your ideas and approaches are worth sharing?
  • Want to have an impact on the quality of instruction in classrooms around the country?
  • Enjoy collaborating with and mentoring other teachers (e.g., student teachers or new team members)?

If so, leading a CSG may be the ideal professional growth and leadership opportunity for you or someone you know.

What Do CSG Master Teachers Do?

As a CSG leader, you’ll be expected to:

  • Share your lesson plans, materials, and thinking with group members
  • Provide an hour of video content (e.g. lesson overviews, live hangouts, etc.) to participants each week
  • Handle a wide range of feedback and questions from participants, and be transparent about your practice
  • Learn from participants through what we believe will be the most intense and powerful professional development of your career
  • Allow CSG participants to use your ideas and materials, with or without modifications
  • Share student work samples, along with your reflections on how to improve your teaching
  • Work to build a following for your ideas and approaches
  • Participate in Master Teacher professional development
  • Fully commit to the Common Core State Standards (if applicable to your subject/grade level)
  • Commit for the entire year, and strive to minimize competing duties (other than your classroom teaching)

» Learn more in our FAQ below

Master Teacher Qualifications

In order to ensure a high-quality learning experience for everyone involved, Master Teachers must meet the following minimum requirements:

  • 7+ years experience in teaching
  • 4+ years in that subject or grade
  • Currently in the classroom, full or part-time, teaching the subject and grade level addressed in the CSG
  • Able to obtain professional letters of reference from colleagues
  • Able to dedicate a substantial amount of time each week to the CSG leadership role (approximately 10 hours/week in addition to your regular teaching duties)

Benefits of Being a CSG Master Teacher

  • Engage in sustained, embedded, rigorous individual professional growth
  • Impact the quality of teaching and learning at a national level
  • Collaborate with other teachers around the country
  • Have an influence beyond your classroom and school
  • Earn extra income from participant fees

Ready to apply? Contact us and we’ll follow up with more information (see details below)

Compensation

Curriculum Study Groups are an entrepreneurial venture. CSG Master Teachers receive royalties equal to 50% of the net revenue from their CSG each month.

Our vision is that the best teachers will lead CSGs with hundreds of members, earning more from their CSG leadership role than from their teaching jobs.

However, revenue will vary greatly based on the participation fee and the number of participants, so we do not guarantee that you will make any particular dollar amount. You should expect that it will take considerable time and effort to grow your CSG.

We will not place any caps on how many participants can join your CSG or how much you can earn in royalties. As your CSG grows, if you want to use some of your royalty funds to bring on colleagues who can help with the workload of leading a large CSG, you are free to do so.

Application Process & Timeline

Becoming a Master Teacher is a rigorous and thorough process, as you would expect given the significance of this leadership role. The steps are as follows.

1. Initial Application

The first step is to express interest in becoming a CSG Master Teacher by contacting us. We will be in touch to arrange next steps.

2. Orientation

If your initial application is accepted, we will contact you about setting up online training and orientation sessions to help you fully understand what is involved in leading a CSG and prepare for the next steps.

3. Full Application & Phone Interview

After your orientation, we will ask you to complete a more detailed application to learn more about your teaching and curricular leadership. We will then schedule a phone interview.

4. Audition

Once you’ve moved past the application and interview phase, we’ll ask you to run a mock group taking participants through your first three weeks of school.

​The purpose of the audition phase is twofold: to provide a clear sense of what you would offer to participants, and to add content to your group before it’s launched publicly. (You retain all rights to your materials, whether or not your group moves to the full launch stage.)

5. Full Launch

If we’re able to move forward with your group, we’ll launch the group and begin accepting registrations. We will begin promoting the group, and when paying members join, you will begin receiving your 50% royalties immediately.

​Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of time commitment is required?
Being a CSG Master Teacher is a substantial time commitment. In addition to your teaching duties, you can count on 10 or more hours per week of additional work, including sharing materials, preparing for weekly live curriculum sessions, responding to questions, sharing your thinking, classroom results, and student work, etc. However, it will probably be the best professional development you’ve ever experienced, so it will be rewarding for your students and your own growth. Because of the substantial time commitment, we recommend finishing other projects (such as extra duties in your school or working on advanced degrees or certifications) before starting your tenure as a CSG Master Teacher.

Can I co-lead a CSG with someone else? We work as a team in my school and I want my colleagues to work with me. 
We will treat one person as the primary contact and responsible master teacher, but you can work as a team and divide the revenue in whatever way seems appropriate to you.

How will I be compensated?
Your compensation will be 50% of the net proceeds from CSG member registration fees, paid monthly. It’s important to see this as an entrepreneurial venture, because you play an important role in building your CSG over time.

What if I’m not interested in the money? Can I lead a free CSG?
You are welcome to do as you please with your royalties; however, we believe the best way to ensure the sustainability of CSGs, as well as committed involvement from all participants, is by charging a modest fee. If free CSGs were feasible, we believe they would already exist, given the many advantages of online collaboration.

How many people will be in my CSG?
That depends on how big a following you attract. CSGs may grow quite large, reaching 100 teachers or more. This large size – which works fine online, even though it wouldn’t be feasible in person – also enables a “divide and conquer” approach to tasks such as identifying the best resources to use.

Does my work belong to me or the site? What happens to my materials if I step down from my role?
Your work belongs to you, and you can do whatever else you want with it. If you step down from leading your CSG, existing members will be allowed to continue to use the materials they obtained from you, but your materials will not be re-sold or re-distributed.

How long is my time commitment? When does it start/end?
The time commitment is annual, following a 36-week school year calendar starting roughly in August and ending in June. You can match the exact start and end dates to your school calendar.

How do you deal with varying school year schedules? 
By planning a few weeks ahead, you can enable participants with different school year calendars to follow the same sequence of instruction, even if they are on a different schedule.

Do I have to teach full-time to be eligible?
No, but we do require that you currently teach the grade and subject your CSG focuses on. It’s fine if you are on a reduced contract or have a teaching partner.

What do I have to know about technology to do this?
You should be comfortable with email (including file attachments), Microsoft Office, Google Docs, and basic social networking. We can help with the rest.

Who can see my work? How public is it? How do you deal with student privacy?
All of your CSG participants will be able to see what you share, but none of it will be posted publicly on the internet, except by mutual agreement for promotional purposes. Student work samples should not contain full names or other unique identifying information, to protect students’ privacy.

Can I earn credit for my participation?
Let us know if you are interested in this, and we can pursue the possibility in accordance with the relevant policies in your area.

How do I deal with copyrighted materials or materials developed by/with others?
It is very important to respect copyright law and not use your CSG to transmit copyrighted materials. If you will be mentoring others in using a particular published curriculum, they must also buy that curriculum. Any materials you make available for download must have been developed by you. For materials you have developed collaboratively in your school, make sure you have the consent of your colleagues, and credit their contributions when sharing the materials.

I have a lot to offer, but you require more experience than I have. How can I participate?
You might be interested in working in a supporting role alongside a Master Teacher. Feel free to contact a Master Teacher (or nominate one) and offer to help.

I’d like some of my colleagues to participate, but I don’t feel right charging them. Can we “comp” them?
Yes, we can include complimentary registrations for anyone you’d like.

What if we don’t get enough people to sign up?
Before the CSG begins, you will create an informational page to help people understand you, your context and approach to teaching, what specifically you will be teaching, and the value you will provide. Over time, we hope to help each of our CSGs reach a viable and sustainable size.

​Other questions? Please contact us.