Voices of E-Learning: The TFA Reinvention Lab

September 17, 2022

Mike Yates is a man of many interests. As the Senior Managing Director of Strategy for the TFA (Teach for America) Reinvention Lab, he gets to flex both sides of his brain to tap into those interests to broaden the scope of TFA’s mission. He spoke with Voices of E-Learning’s JW Marshall and Leena Marie Salah about his exciting role within the Reinvention Lab.

Teach for America sends young educators into low-income neighborhoods to teach for two years and gives these folks a tremendous leadership opportunity early in their careers. And The Reinvention Lab was born out of the need to, well, reinvent itself. TFA can’t make change happen without going through an organizational transformation itself.

“I love to do things other people think won’t work,” Yates said. “The Reinvention Lab gives Yates the space to experiment. “It’s not the watch me do it thing. I do take it as a challenge.” Some of the ideas Yates comes up with are centered around doing things to make people within TFA think differently about the possibilities of learning, partnership, branding, and art in new and exciting ways.

One of the things Yates feels most passionate about is TFA’s ability to show young college graduates interested in education that there is a world of opportunity to take their passions beyond the classroom. “One of my goals in life is to free as many teachers as possible from the matrix,” Yates said. “Not necessarily in ways that make you leave the classroom but expand the way you think about learning or expand the way you think about human beings. I hope to do that for people.”

Motivation is the key to unlocking the learning potential of today’s youth. Finding what motivates kids takes innovation and driving those initiatives within TFA is what Yates loves about his work at The Reinvention Lab.

Recent Episodes

Experts Talk K-12 EdTech Leadership Priorities
View episode

As we navigate the evolving landscape of K-12 education, the role of technology, as well as K-12 edtech leadership has never been more pivotal. Especially in the era of K-12 education post-pandemic, how has this influx of technology solutions for everything from curriculum management, to hybrid learning, to quiz gamification, to AI-supported learning, impacted…

View episode

On a recent episode of the Secured Podcast, the hosts issued a bold challenge to the ballistic industry giants, including Armoured One. They invited industry leaders to their 11,000-acre Texas ranch, complete with a range and lodging, for a transparent, practical demonstration. The test will involve quarter-inch plate glass, like typical storefront windows, with…

The 2hr Learning Model
View episode

In an era where traditional schooling often fails to ignite students’ passions, the innovative 2hr Learning Model proposed by Alpha represents a significant shift in educational paradigms. This approach is not just timely but essential, as the quest for efficient and engaging education systems becomes more urgent in the face of global educational disparities….