Strategic teaming

By Elizabeth M. Chu and Michael A. Arrington
October 2020
Vol. 41, No. 5

Innovative forms of staff collaboration are required to deliver hybrid and fully remote instruction — and transition between the two — effectively while meeting the health, learning, and personal needs of students, families, and educators.

As part of a remote learning tool kit for administrators, educators, and families, the Columbia University Center for Public Research and Leadership developed guidance on how to create and manage new types of instructional teams.

Included in this #LearnFwdTLP is a guide to create and manage new types of instructional teams during the pandemic. Click To Tweet

These teaming resources, developed in partnership with districts, schools, and education nonprofits, help organize instructional staff members into well-run teams that are collectively responsible for the academic and social-emotional learning of groups of students. Organizing activity in this way allows staff members to:

  • Take on responsibilities that match their strengths to students’ needs;
  • Manage the additional complexity posed by remote learning, including technology challenges and increased child care and personal demands;
  • Learn quickly how to deliver effective remote instruction and create family-school learning partnerships;
  • Create a coherent instructional and learning community model across the school and district; and
  • Deliver high-quality, equitable services to students and families more efficiently.

Download PDF here to see the tables on guide administrators and instructional leaders in forming and managing these teams. Key steps include:

  1. Group staff members into instructional teams.
  2. Identify team goals and responsibilities.
  3. Determine roles, responsibilities, and recurring tasks.
  4. Create a cadence of recurring meetings.
  5. Develop a team support plan.

Elizabeth M. Chu ( is executive director at the Center for Public Research and Leadership at Columbia University

 Michael A. Arrington ( is evolutionary learning fellow at the Center for Public Research and Leadership at Columbia University.

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