Solving with Students Cadre


Impact Florida's first Learning Cadre for teachers improved student experience in math, a critical pathway for college and career success.

Effective professional learning is one of the Five Conditions that Support Great Teaching. The Solving with Students Learning Cadre piloted an innovative approach to professional learning based on student feedback. Through the Cadre, 49 teacher across the state surveyed their students about their experience and tried new strategies in the classroom to improve the learning environment. Overall, their work yielded an average 9-percentage point increase in positive classroom experiences.

Can Student Feedback Help Improve Teaching?

Choose How You Want to Learn More

Explore Cadre Results

Teachers conducted four student surveys during the spring 2022 semester. The New Teacher Center led an independent evaluation of the cadre.

Read Takeaways

The Solving with Students Cadre piloted an innovative approach to teacher professional learning. We summarized what we learned.

Go Inside the Cadre Experience

Teachers used a free tool, Elevate by PERTS, to survey students and make improvements as part of a statewide learning community.

Meet the Teachers

Forty-nine teachers across the state stepped forward to lead the use of student feedback for growth. We captured their stories.

Explore Results

  • Results

    Student Experience Improvements

    On average, teachers saw a 9-percentage point increase in students reporting positive experiences in aspects of the classroom teachers were working to improve. Teachers saw as much as 48 point gain on individual learning conditions. 

  • Changes

    Changes to Practice

    98 percent of teachers said they made permanent and substantive changes to practice.

  • Time

    Time Commitment

    91 percent of teachers reported that the work took two hours or less per week.

  • Participation

    Teacher Experience

    98 percent of the teachers who are returning to the classroom next year said they would be interested in participating again.

See More Results

The New Teacher Center led an independent evaluation of the Solving with Students Cadre. Fill out the form to download a PDF of the results.

Read Takeaways

Teachers found the cadre to be a dramatically different (and positive) professional learning experience. 

How It Was Different

Many said the cadre differed from traditional professional development in several ways: they were in the driver’s seat of their own learning, their students were directly involved, and the experience was personalized to them and their classrooms. The customization made it valuable to all teachers, no matter their level of experience or teacher preparation.

Engaging students in the data changed how students viewed their role in the classroom.

More Engagement, More Improvement

 Many teachers engaged their students in the learning process by sharing their data and coming up with change ideas. As a result, students started to see themselves as having responsibility for the classroom learning environment. In fact, teachers who engaged students in more conversations about their focus area and/or strategy showed more improvements in learning conditions, and teachers who showed gains of 5 or more percentage points were those who engaged their students in those conversations a moderate or significant amount. 

Students interpreted teachers’ interest in student feedback as a sign of caring.

Students Felt Valued and Heard

Impact Florida conducted two student focus groups at Q.I. Roberts Jr/Sr High School, where three teachers participated in the cadre. Students shared their reflections about the cadre, which we summarized in this blog post.

Teachers found great teaching moments in math by sharing survey data.

Real-World Math

The Elevate platform is applicable to all subject areas, but for math teachers, it presents a unique opportunity to talk to students about data in the real world.

Dramatic improvements in student experience came from small changes.

Small Changes, Big Results

The work didn’t take a lot of time on the part of the teacher or the students - and small adjustments and greater engagement yielded positive results. In a post-survey, 96 percent of teachers said the cadre took two hours or less a week.

Teachers leaned on each other for support during this vulnerable experience.

A Statewide Community

Teachers appreciated the opportunity to connect with other math teachers in different districts, from rural districts like Hendry County (student population around 9,000) to massive urban districts like Miami-Dade (student population around 334,000). There was no doubt the experience of hearing student feedback was difficult. But for the majority of teachers, they came through the struggle with significant improvements that motivated them in a profound way. The support of other teachers in the cadre was critical for helping them stick with it through the hardest parts.

Go Inside the Cadre Experience

The Solving with Students Cadre was designed in a way to keep teachers engaged throughout the experience -- 92 percent of teachers completed all the requirements of the cadre. The design features of the cadre are listed below.

Free Student Survey Tool

Teachers used Elevate by PERTS, a free professional learning platform for teachers. Elevate allows teachers to survey students about their experiences in the classroom, view anonymized results, and learn strategies to improve. Learn more about Elevate and view a sample survey.

The cadre experience provided a supportive learning community for teachers across the state, through which they piloted the tool in their classrooms and sought to improve student experience in secondary math with the support of Impact Florida, our partners, and other teachers across the state.

  • Open Application

    An open application for teachers, so they could choose to participate based on their own interest, rather than as a mandate by a school or district leader

  • Check-Ins

    One-on-one check-ins with Impact Florida staff

  • Stipend

    Teachers received a stipend, paid in installments at the completion of milestones in the cadre, to compensate teachers for their work, and surprise gift boxes to keep their spirits up

  • Coaching

    The opportunity for one-on-one virtual coaching with the New Teacher Center

  • Community Calls

    Community calls hosted on Zoom where teachers shared stories and learned from each other

Meet the Teachers

Tia Geivet-Colon

Tia Geivet-Colon

Eau Gallie High School, Brevard County

“I love to inspire my students, and if I don’t know what drives them, then I don’t know what will inspire them.” 

Read more.

Jean Beagan

Fort King Middle School, Marion County

“This is all about helping me become better at what I do, and I tell my kids that I can’t do that without help from them."

Read more.


Tawanna Rowe

Crystal Lake Middle, Broward County

"The experience a student has in math class MATTERS! Since beginning the cadre, I’ve noticed an improvement on students’ test scores, and they are working harder toward academic achievement."

Read more.

Lori Antos

Lori Antos

Buddy Taylor Middle School, Flagler County

"If students don’t feel a part of their learning process and know that they’re valued, they don’t see the value in learning."

Read more.

Katrice Dixon

Katrice Dixon

Crystal Lake Middle, Broward County

“The surveys and strategies have been essential for us. Rather than being an add-on and creating more work, it has actually made it easier for us as teachers."

Read more

Ian Boze headshot

Ian Boze

Q.I. Roberts Jr.-Sr. High School, Putnam County

"Just like adults, students want to feel like what they are doing matters and that they have some control over what is happening in their lives."

Read more

Leisha Collins headshot

Leisha Collins

Leto High School, Hillsborough County

"It’s essential for students to experience a safe, positive classroom culture, where they feel comfortable to try, make mistakes, and try again."

Read more.

Anna Stewart

Anna Stewart

Yulee Middle School, Nassau County

“No matter how good you are as a teacher, there is always room for growth."

Read more

Josey crop

Josey Pearce

Yearling Middle School, Okeechobee County

"In the business world, the motto is 'customer knows best,' so why would the classroom be any different?"

Read more

Vanessa Cupak headshot

Vanessa Cupak

Mowat Middle School, Bay County

"The experience is both humbling and encouraging, going through and discussing data with students."

Watch more


Kellyann Campbell

Yearling Middle School, Okeechobee County

"I have been able to see how I have truly impacted my students in my classroom over a span of months."

Watch her story

Congratulations to all the teachers who participated in the cadre! A list of teachers by district is below.

  • Bay – Vanessa Cupak, Pamela Harris
  • Brevard – Tia Geivet-Colon, Julie McKenzie
  • Broward – Katrice Dixon, Tawanna Rowe
  • Clay – Michael Young, Rebecca Cooksey, Brad Smith
  • Collier  – Michelle Benton, Lindsey Buckner, Kathryn Donohue, Beata Vrehas, Kayla Fulghum, Cecilia Vega
  • Flagler – Lori Antos, Sherri Fields
  • Hendry – Mindy Stockton
  • Hillsborough – Jeff Spotts, Justin Kingsley, Katie Wood, Leesa Crescenzi, Leisha Collins, Jessica Hebert, Angelique Linton, Renee Labunski, Kalynn Viramontes
  • Levy  – Amanda Boggs
  • Manatee – Marcy Kleer
  • Marion – Janessa Lovell, Lori Root, Jean Beagan, Kimberly Boots
  • Miami-Dade – Martha Hernandez, Ada Veliz, Sharmaine Alexander
  • Nassau – Candice Mobley, Anna Stewart
  • Okeechobee – Kellyann Campbell, Wendy Luaces-Moreno, Josey Pearce
  • Pasco – Stacy Schroer, Jennifer Watkinson, Kerry Saddler
  • Pinellas – Anthony Velardocchia
  • Putnam – Damon Frazee, Ian Boze, Angelina Wilson, Michele Knowles

About the Cadre

The Solving with Students Cadre will pilot an innovative approach to professional learning based on student feedback. Professional learning is one of Impact Florida’s Five Conditions that Support Great Teaching.

Through the cadre, math teachers used a free, research-based tool called PERTS Elevate to survey their students, learn best practices, and incorporate them in the classroom to improve instruction. The cadre completed three cycles in the spring semester, and Impact Florida brought the teachers together to share learnings and build community. Teachers also had the option to receive additional one-on-one coaching. 

“The teachers in this cadre have shown remarkable vulnerability and leadership, and now we can see that their work has yielded great results for students,” said Mandy Clark, President of Impact Florida. “So many teachers have told us that this experience changed their classrooms and their careers for good. We believe this type of teacher-led, data-driven learning opportunity is well worth expanding to more teachers and schools.”

The cornerstone of Impact Florida’s work, Learning Cadres bring education leaders together from across the state to pilot innovative practices and learn from each other. Impact Florida then packages and shares those learnings with leaders and partners from around the state to positively impact as many students as possible.  

To date, Impact Florida’s learning cadres have primarily served district leaders charged with important district-wide decisions that affect instruction. This cadre was an exciting opportunity to provide direct support to teachers and students in the classroom with the goal of improving student engagement with math. Impact Florida welcomes others to use the learnings from the cadre across the state. 

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