Must Read Papers May 10, 2022

Improving Instructional Resources to Enhance the Teacher Experience

There is a crisis in U.S. schools: Teachers, the most important ingredient in a child’s learning,1 are demoralized. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, one in six K-12 teachers reported that they were likely to leave the profession. During the pandemic, this number increased to one in four.2

While many factors impact teachers’ experience and success in the classroom, Tyton Partners recently conducted an in-depth analysis focusing specifically on the use and importance of one key ingredient: instructional resources. Having access to easy-to-use, high-quality resources is vital. However, until now, limited public research has been completed on the teacher experience with these resources and how to improve it.

What Tyton Partners discovered was significant. From teachers’ point of view, even some of the most lauded materials can be difficult to use and don’t always address key pain points for teachers. Furthermore, educators rarely receive the robust training and support needed to effectively use the materials and understand the richness of what the tools offer. Therefore, teachers often ignore materials that don’t deliver and instead find workarounds or buy alternatives – sometimes with their own funds.

However, there is good news. Tyton Partners’ analysis revealed that teachers who have standards-aligned materials that they find useful – and sufficient support to use those materials – have higher job satisfaction. We also identified a series of actionable steps that can enhance instructional resources and drive their adoption and effective use by educators. Contributing to the widespread effort to improve the classroom experience and our education system, our aspiration is that developers and suppliers of materials can use what we have discovered to make their products and services even more appealing and useful for teachers.

This report offers highlights of our work, derived from a rigorous analysis of teachers’ responsibilities; qualitative interviews with more than 50 teachers, administrators, suppliers, and other stakeholders; and quantitative surveys of 1,600 K-12 teachers and 700 school and district leaders.


1 RAND Teachers Matter: Understanding Teachers’ Impact on Student Achievement, 2019
2 RAND Job-Related Stress Threatens the Teacher Supply, 2021