Subject Specialization (Remote Teacher)

Remotely located excellent teachers teach priority subjects, leaving other subjects and many noninstructional tasks to other teachers and staff. On-site monitors selected for their classroom management and social/emotional development skills manage student time and behavior, supervise recess and lunch, and perform all in-person supervisory and administrative duties; they may provide academic support, and they provide vital information about students’ social, emotional, and behavioral concerns to the remote teachers.

  • Elementary. A likely approach would be having the best remote teachers teach one of two core subject pairs: math/science or language arts/social studies. For example, excellent remote math teachers relieved of on-site duties could teach four times the current student load within standard work hours, using all noninstructional time for the planning and follow-up that are essential to instruction.
  • Secondary. Excellent single-course remote teachers may teach students in multiple locations, using a combination of synchronous instruction (e.g., using webcams, online whiteboards) and asynchronous, personalized communications (e.g., email for feedback on student work, answering students’ questions).

Higher pay for the excellent remote teachers is funded by lower pay for the on-site paraprofessional monitors and the elimination of some non-classroom instructional specialist positions in subjects taught by the excellent remote teachers. Reach Effect: approximately 100%–400% more students reached with excellent teachers. Note: Subjects for specialization will vary based on school priorities and available teachers; the math/science and language arts/social studies pairs are just one example.


More detail on this model:

 Teacher and Staff Selection, Development, & Evaluation ToolkitThis toolkit includes job descriptions, competencies, and companion tools that may be used to select, evaluate, and develop teachers and staff. These materials are built for six of the more than 20 school models described here. The jobs included in the toolkit cover most of the other school models as well. Some schools may combine school models, and in turn will need to alter the job descriptions and other materials accordingly. Schools must adapt these materials to fit each school setting and to incorporate additional selection, evaluation, and development priorities.


Picture the possibilities for remotely located teachers

If you find this sort of teaching hard to envision, Grand Rapids, MI, physics teacher Andrew Vanden Heuvel has an exciting video to show you how it’s happening now—through his virtual field trip to Switzerland’s Large Hadron Collider as the first person to teach a science class from insider the collider’s tunnel (and one of the first to bike through it!). As Andrew says on his blog about the trip, “It’s not about the technology, but what you can do with it.”



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View table with links to all school models