Want to be an awesome Outschool teacher?

Check out Outschool's EPIC framework our best teachers embody that make them and their classes outstanding!

♡ EPIC Framework for Teachers ♡

Outschool studied 5-star classes and high performing teachers. Through this research we determined the qualities exhibited in classes that make Outschool special. The EPIC Framework is designed to celebrate educators as well as provide support to educators who want to make their classes more EPIC. Outschool is committed in creating and maintaining a shared language and a common understanding of what makes Outschool classes awesome. The EPIC elements can act as a starting point for inspiration!

E - Empowering

P - Passion-Driven

I - Intentional

C - Connected


↪ Outschool classes are empowering spaces where students explore their passions through intentionally planned lessons, while connecting with others.

↪ Outschool educators empower their learners by sharing their passions through intentionally planned lessons, while making meaningful connections with their learners.

↪ Outschool parents empower their children to explore their passions by intentionally enrolling in engaging classes where they can connect with other learners, around the world, who share their passions.


Making a commitment to creating a space where learners develop self-confidence and know that their voice matters

💙 Empowering Educators:

  • Encourage student voice by multiple opportunities for learners to share their ideas
    • Provide multiple access points for students to share.
    • Allow all voices to be heard and don’t let one student dominate the class
  • Celebrate the unique strengths in all their learners
    • Read “Notes from the Parent” on the learner tab in your section to better prepare for learner needs
    • Send a positive note or unique award to a learner based on their contribution to class (Canva is a great resource for creating certificates and awards)
    • Use frequent and varied praise.
    • Use effort-based (“I am impressed by how hard you worked, you really focused on …) or behavior-specific praise (Thank you for sharing your ideas, great use of a transition word)
    • Avoid personal praise, substitute “You are so smart” for “That was a great insight”
  • Provide tools so that learners can extend their learning
    • Provide a list of resources or articles in the classroom
    • Offer optional extension questions or google searches, links to websites and other interactive materials
    • Share guiding questions that parents can ask their learners about the lesson
  • Meet students where they are
    • Look through “Learners” tab in the class section so you have an understanding of the learners you will be teaching

💙 Empowered Learners:

  • Know that their voice matters
  • Are able to apply their learning
  • Develop confidence and a strong sense of self
  • Have choice in their classes

Empowered Resources and Supports

  • Zoom Chat Box --> Encourage students to interact and share answers by using the chat on Zoom
  • Zoom Reactions --> Suggest students use the reactions in zoom to share their thoughts/feelings about the lesson
  • Pear Deck --> Google slide add-on that creates interactive slides where teachers can see student answers in real time
  • Nearpod --> Engaging media and formative assessments where you can upload resources and make them interactive
  • Kahoot --> Game-based learning platform where you can create your own questions or access existing questions
  • Wheel of Names --> Ensure students chosen are random by using this online spinner to choose names or topics
  • Canva --> Create professional quality designs, certificates, awards, etc.
  • Types of Praise article --> Article explains the different types of praise we can provide in the classroom

Check out how Yvette McDonnell drives her instruction with Empowered qualities and provides her learners with EPIC class experiences!


Demonstrating an interest in sharing your passions with learners and helping learners discover and foster their passions

💛 Passion-Driven Educators:

  • Possess deep understanding and genuine interest in the topics they teach
    • Teach only classes where you have content knowledge and you are excited and enthusiastic about the topic
    • Develop unique content linked to passions and interests. You are not limited by traditional subjects
    • Ensure that you offer multiple perspectives and are aware of global perspectives
    • Update your class content when you are asked questions that you do not know- be honest with students if you are unsure of the correct answer
  • Ignite passion in their learners
    • Use age-appropriate materials that can connect the topic to other areas of interests in learners
    • Activate students prior knowledge and ask what they are excited to learn (K-W-L chart)
    • Incorporate games or gamify your class

💛 Passion-Driven Learners:

  • Develop a deep understanding about their passions
  • Recognize the power and joy of pursuing their interests by completing authentic learning tasks

Passion-Driven Resources and Supports

  • Lexile Level --> Tool for finding out reading level of different books, so you can match readers with appropriate texts
  • Common Sense Media --> Independent, non-profit with a focus on helping parents and educators safely navigate digital media and find age-appropriate materials
  • Teaching Tolerance --> Resources that help to create inclusive school communities
  • Cambridge.org --> Resources for understanding teaching with a global perspective
  • KWL Chart Template --> Allows students to activate prior knowledge and share what they want to learn about a topic
  • 3-2-1 Exit Ticket --> Provides students opportunity to reflect on what they have learned and what questions they still have
  • Quizizz --> Similar to Kahoot, it provides the ability to create online quizzes and trivia games

Check out how Cindy Frank drives her instruction with Passion-Driven qualities and provides her learners with EPIC class experiences!


Utilizing a thoughtful approach to choosing topics, planning classes, choosing instructional and tech resources and empowering learners

❤️ Intentional Educators:

  • Develop classes with clear expectations and outcomes
    • Backwards plan: think about what you want students to get out of your class and design the activities to drive towards the goal
    • Plan for common what ifs: learner doesn’t have materials, learner is disruptive, class ends early,...
    • Share your expectations and outcomes at the beginning of class, this is empowering to students
  • Creatively apply pedagogical tools to enhance learner experiences in a remote setting
    • (here we could link a bunch of tools)
  • Plan how they will empower and connect with their learners
    • Create open-ended questions in which all students can engage (link list of questions)

❤️ Intentional Learners:

  • Understand the expectations and purpose of the class
  • Plan how they will engage in class
  • Solve problems using critical thinking skills

Intentional Resources and Supports

  • Universal Design for Learning --> Framework to improve and optimize teaching and learning, based on scientific insights into how humans learn
  • Digital Resources --> Links to various online resources, categorized by content area
  • Edutopia --> Comprehensive educational website with articles, tips and resources for teachers of all ages and learners
  • Google Forms --> Create google forms for students to use throughout the lesson and provide feedback at the end of the lesson
  • Outschool Teacher Support --> Access our online teacher support doc to help with FAQs
  • Outschool Safety & Privacy

Check out how Emily Gilson drives her instruction with Intentional qualities and provides her learners with EPIC class experiences!


Leveraging the Outschool platform, global community, and technology to connect with learners, parents and colleagues

💚 Connected Educators:

  • Are responsive to the needs and concerns of learners and their families
    • Respond to parent and learner communication/emails within 48 hours
    • Offer a variety of ways for a learner to engage in a class or classroom
  • Create an inclusive learning environment where learners are able to build relationships across a global community
    • Teach from an international, not US centric, lens.
    • Allow learners to share different regional language, terms, ideas
    • Celebrate all perspectives, but ensure they are grounded in fact/science
  • Participate in Outschool’s professional learning community
  • Leverage technologies to access new teaching opportunities

💚 Connected Learners:

  • Connect with other people who share their passions
  • Actively participate in class activities
  • Feel seen, heard, and validated
  • Participate in Outschool’s learner community
  • Leverage technologies to access new learning opportunities

Connected Resources and Supports

  • Teach.Outschool --> Outschool’s site with resources and tips for teaching on Outschool
  • Teacher Hub Facebook --> Engage with experienced Outschool teachers
  • Professional Development --> Participate in one of many live and/or asynchronous trainings on a variety aspects of teaching on Outschool
  • Google Translate --> Tool to have materials translated into any language
  • Digital Resources --> Comprehensive educational website with articles, tips and resources for teachers of all ages and learners
  • Outschool Review Policy --> Outschool policy on reviews and supports on how to respond to reviews

Check out how Ms. Carrie drives her instruction with Connected qualities and provides her learners with EPIC class experiences!

See how our exemplar Outschool teachers display our framework on our ☞ Teacher Spotlight ☜ page!

Visit our Professional Development site to enroll in asynchronous or live training sessions to build your professional capacity and become an EPIC Outschool educator!

☞ Click here to download a PDF version of our EPIC Framework