Skoll Foundation


New Teacher Center

Skoll Awardee(s): Ellen Moir
Award Year: 2011
Issue Area(s) Addressed: Education

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“We are driven to build a better profession – to honor and value teachers. I want to be sure that it’s not left to chance that every underprivileged child in America gets the best teachers.”

Sub-Issues: Early childhood to primary education, Secondary education U.S. education systems routinely assign new teachers to the toughest classes in the toughest schools, provide little or no support as they struggle to connect with students and make a difference, and leave them discouraged and questioning their career choice. Half of new teachers leave the profession within five years, leaving behind the very students most in need of stability and connectedness.  

The Skoll Awardee: Sometimes having a champion makes all the difference. Ellen Moir was lucky to have a high school teacher who inspired her passion for learning and helped her become the first in her family to attend college. She founded the New Teacher Center to change the way new teachers are oriented to the profession, pairing talented and inexperienced teachers with experienced, veteran teachers who guide them through the crucial first two years. By 2010, the New Teacher Center had engaged 6,000 mentor teachers to work with 27,000 new teachers, providing 1.5 million students with a better chance to achieve by accelerating the effectiveness of new teachers, especially those who work with low income, minority and English-learning students.

Impact since joining the portfolio in 2011:
As of May 2014, New Teacher Center reported:
  • 5,700 mentors, 23,000 new teachers, 1.6 million students reached in 35 states and 250 school districts
  • Online program serving 600 new teachers
  • Other milestones include:
    • 2014 Brock International Prize in Education
    • Pahara-Aspen Education Fellowship



© 2015 Skoll Foundation.