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Shared-Content Teaching Teams: Best Practices Template

Effective shared-content teams reduce teacher workload, lowering the planning burden on any individual. They also reduce the expertise burden on each individual: every teacher’s plan should represent the shared expertise among the group and any expert supporting the group. Additionally, these teams are a highly effective and efficient venue for experts to deliver contentbased, job-embedded professional development (PD). When these teams are structured effectively, they become the primary way that both planning and PD takes place in the school.

Shared-content teaching teams are comprised of teachers who share a common grade and subject (or, at the high school level, course). Their collaboration typically includes the following objectives:

  • Develop lesson plans focused on a common curriculum or text as well as long-term unit plans
  • Develop common formative assessments and analyze results
  • Determine how to adjust instruction in response to student progress
  • Participate in training on common areas for development

Depending on how a shared-content team is structured in a given school, teachers may also collaborate on how to regroup students for targeted, small-group support and work together to develop individualized interventions.


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School Designer is a tool to support districts implementing strategic school designs.

  • Navigate the key decisions needed at each stage in the design process
  • Explore a multimedia library of strategic school design proof points
  • Discover additional tools and resources to develop strategic designs

ERS offers a free, modified version of School Designer to anyone with an ERS account.

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