our leadership | Mindsteps Inc.

our leadership

Robyn R. Jackson, PhD

Founder and CEO

Dr. Robyn R. Jackson is passionate about the profession of teaching. She helps teachers and administrators understand the principles of mastery teaching and shows them how to apply these principles in order to help every student succeed. As a former high school English teacher and middle school administrator, she refined these principles on her own journey to become a master teacher. And, now as a best-selling author, internationally recognized keynote speaker, and professional developer, she provides step-by-step advice on how to use these same principles to become or help others become master teachers. Because she believes that every child deserves a master teacher and that any teacher can become a master teacher with the right kind of support and practice, and she started Mindsteps™ Inc., a professional development firm located in Washington, DC to provide the right kind of practice for teachers and the administrators who lead them. She doesn’t just want to change how we teach; Dr. Jackson wants to change the way that we think about teaching.

Dr. Jackson is the author of nine books including Never Work Harder Than Your Students and the Mastering the Principles of Great Teaching series. Through her speaking and training she inspires audiences world-wide to become master teachers, implement more rigorous instruction, support struggling students, and provide effective instructional leadership.


  • Advocate: Dr. Jackson served as a teacher, administrator, adjunct professor, consultant, and speaker championing equity, access, and rigor for over 15 years.
  • National Board Certified AP English Teacher: As a National Board Certified English teacher, she increased the enrollment of minority and non-traditional students in her AP Language and Composition classes and tripled her course enrollment within one year without a decrease in her students’ test scores.
  • Award winning administrator: As a middle school administrator in Montgomery County Maryland, she worked to revise the district’s Gifted and Talented program to be more inclusive of under-represented students and better prepare students for rigorous high school work. She also compiled the final draft of the district’s Middle School Reform Report and helped lead one of the largest middle schools in the district to win the state and national Blue Ribbon.
  • A nationally recognized presenter and consultant: Dr. Jackson has traveled throughout the United States sharing her unique approach to instruction. Most recently, she has worked with non-profits such as the College Board, The National Governors’ Association, and the Fulfillment Fund and with school districts in Maryland, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, Texas, Virginia, Wisconsin, New York, Colorado, Georgia, Ohio, and the District of Columbia to help develop the capacity of both teachers and school leaders help all students meet or exceed rigorous learning standards and become college-ready. She has also been featured in The Washington Post, a PBS/Annenberg television series,Lifetime Television’s daily talk show Lifetime Live, and several times on WTOP radio.
  • University Professor and Researcher: As an educator, she has served as an adjunct professor at Towson University and Bowie University and presented her own research on equity, access, rigor, and instructional strategies designed to help under-represented and under-served student populations meet rigorous learning standards at several national conferences including the College Board National Forum, The AP Annual Conference, CCCC, AERA, ASCD Annual Conference, The National Middle School Association Annual Conference, The National Staff Development Conference, and the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards National Conference. She is also a senior fellow of the Phelps Stokes Fund and served as the Chairperson of the DuPont Park Adventist Junior Academy School Board.

Dr. Jackson is the author of the following books:

  • You Can Do This: Hope and Help for New Teachers
  • Never Underestimate Your Students
  • The AP* Teacher’s Resource Book: Strategies for Successful AP Courses
  • How to Motivate Reluctant Learners
  • How to Plan Rigorous Instruction
  • How to Support Struggling Students
  • Never Work Harder than Your Students and Other Principles of Great Teaching
  • The Instructional Leader’s Guide to Strategic Conversations with Teachers: How to provide customized feedback to teachers that actually helps them get better at teaching.
  • The Differentiation Workbook: A step-by-step guide to creating lessons that help every student meet the standards

*AP is the registered Trademark of the College Board, which was not involved in the production of, and does not endorse, this product.