Phone: (512) 596-5417

2028 E. Ben White Blvd #240-5417
Austin, TX 78741

Mark Getchis

Program Manager

Our People

Mark supports the third cohort of the Learning by Scientific Design Network (LbSD). In this role, Mark works with clinical educators to empower teacher-candidates with an understanding of the basic principles of learning science and how to apply these principles in their instructional practice. Prior to joining DFI, Mark supported the development of early career teachers as an instructional coach, pre-service site director, and clinical supervisor. A proud third-generation educator, Mark was impacted early in life by teachers and taught secondary social studies in Baltimore for over a decade before going on to become a founding Department Leader for a startup charter school in Brooklyn, NY. The great honor of his career was watching the inaugural class garner a 100% graduation rate and 100% college acceptance.

What compels you about DFI's mission of ensuring that every child has a well-prepared teacher?

I believe educational equity is one of the most important social justice issues we confront. I also believe that well-prepared teachers and impactful instruction offer a solution. But there is still more we can do to better prepare teachers to lead classrooms where all students thrive. As an educator, I remember my first year of teaching and feeling like I did not have all the tools I needed to be an effective teacher for my students. While I had support, I often felt inundated with teaching advice that did not always align from veteran teachers, coaches, professors, and supervisors.There is a lot that I wish I knew earlier, especially around how students learn. I believe learning science can help teachers to better understand their students and create rigorous and equitable classrooms.

What do you enjoy most about working at DFI?

I enjoy the shared passion and purpose that we bring to our work. It is rare to find a place where there is so much passion pulling in the same direction. Though we approach our mission through different backgrounds, skills, perspectives, and projects, we collaborate and navigate challenges with the common belief that all children deserve a well-prepared teacher.

Describe a teacher or student who made a lasting impact in your life.

Mr. Clements is one teacher who impacted me and whose influence lived on in my own classroom. As my high school English teacher, Mr. Clements was a fascinating person and thoughtful teacher who not only assigned writing, but also dedicated the time to explicitly teach his students to write well. I can still remember his significant passage techniques that pushed me to think analytically and gave me the structure to organize my ideas and express them coherently. His famous “This passage not only…but also…” frame elevated my thinking and gave me a way to express it. When I taught high school, I “borrowed” these techniques from Mr. Clements to push my own students to be proficient thinkers and writers.

What's a principle, philosophy, or quote you live by, and why?

“Do the best you can until you know better. Then, when you know better, do better.”-Maya Angelou

This quote guides my life and work in education. Life is a journey of discovery and growth. Similarly, teaching is a profession of learning and continuous improvement. To improve, you have to commit to a path and allow yourself and others the grace to discover and learn from experience in order to gain the wisdom to be better.