BetterLesson, the leader in delivering personalized professional development, today announced that it has raised $10 million in Series B funding to bring transformative instructional coaching to teachers across the country. This funding will allow the company to scale its flagship virtual coaching program for K-12 teachers at a critical time, as classrooms are adapting to an evolving educational and economic landscape.
The funding round was led by Owl Ventures, a venture capital fund that invests in the world’s leading education technology companies. Owl takes a hands-on approach in helping entrepreneurs scale their businesses into transformative category-leading companies. Tory Patterson, Owl Venture’s co-founder and Managing Partner, believes BetterLesson is that transformational company for teacher professional development (PD).
“The U.S. spends billions each year on PD that fails our teachers and students,” said Patterson. “The research is very clear – 1:1 teacher coaching is the best way to improve teacher practice. BetterLesson delivers the highest-quality 1:1 instructional coaching in the country. They have built the platform that can flexibly scale world-class coaches to meet the urgent needs of teachers, schools, and districts.” Patterson will join the BetterLesson Board of Directors.
Other funders investing in this round include existing investors Michael and Susan Dell Foundation, New Markets Venture Partners and Reach Capital, an education focused venture capital fund, whose General Partner Jennifer Carolan will retain her seat on the BetterLesson Board of Directors.
Through BetterLesson’s unique professional development technology platform, teachers and coaches engage in a continuous learning methodology focused on helping teachers shift their practice towards personalized and experiential instructional models.
“We are living during times of unprecedented social and economic change. We need students who are prepared to solve an evolving set of challenges—students who can adapt, iterate, and figure things out,” said BetterLesson co-founder and CEO Alex Grodd. “Our coaching model is designed to help teachers build learners who will thrive under these new conditions. We assist them in making the shift to learner-centered instruction—where students set their own learning goals, monitor their progress, and are consistently engaged in collaborative problem solving.”
BetterLesson’s diverse set of customers includes statewide systems, such as the Tennessee Department of Education, large multi-campus urban districts like Manassas City School District, and small rural districts such as the elementary school in Groton, New York. All share an urgency to help their teachers make a dramatic shift towards putting students at the center of their learning.
BetterLesson Coaching is purchased at the school or district level. Coaches work with district administrators to lock into pedagogical focus areas aligned with their instructional priorities. Then, teachers are matched with their ideal coaches based on experience, subject, grade level, and the teachers’ specific areas of focus. Throughout the year, the teacher and coach meet via video conference every other week and engage in BetterLesson’s “Try, Measure, Learn” classroom-embedded methodology: Teachers try research-based instructional strategies, measure their impact on student learning, and learn what works via cycles of sustained iteration. BetterLesson’s innovative platform recommends high-impact strategies, tracks progress towards their goals, and helps teachers build digital portfolios of their professional growth.
“We’re finding that the smallest shifts can lead to big, even revolutionary changes,” said BetterLesson co-founder and President Erin Osborn. “When teachers feel confident experimenting in a structured process with high-leverage strategies, their pace of growth dramatically accelerates. Professional learning becomes practical, rewarding, and even fun. Most importantly, it is firmly rooted in helping prepare students to reach their full potential.”