In Preparing Teachers for Deeper Learning, we really started to think about how teacher preparation and ongoing professional development must evolve to fully enable teacher success in today’s new environment. Managing an online classroom can be a departure from traditional teaching methods and teacher preparation needs to be customized to meet the specific needs of online educators.
We are excited about the work our friends at K12 Inc. are doing to ensure that teachers and students are well equipped for powerful online learning. They are shifting to better prepare their teachers to teach and assess student success using data and inform students with real time feedback.
The Teachers Matter program that was built to recruit and hire, retain, evaluate, coach, develop and advance teachers. The program is constructed to think long term about student success while strengthening and supporting teachers.
“We have a great team of teachers at K12, and we value their hard work, passion, and dedication,” said Chief Academic Officer Dr. Margaret Jorgensen. “Teachers are critical to improving student outcomes. The investments made by K12 and the new academic initiatives we launched demonstrate our company’s total commitment to improving instruction, helping teachers succeed, and raising achievement for all students.”
Their teacher effectiveness program aims to improve the culture and practice of our teachers by focusing on specific methods, policies, practices, tools, and competencies that add structure and clarify expectations around five critical areas of a teacher’s professional “life cycle.”
Based on their recent report, Teachers Matter at K12 Inc, we have identified 8 key program elements to supporting online educators:
- Deploying internal surveys to gauge and understand teachers experiences using different teaching methodologies.
- Providing a Teacher Advising Council and other professional development programs to allow for open communication and collaboration.
- Career path and development track for all teachers sets a personalized and professional course that makes sense for their future.
- Providing Instructional Coaches and Mentor Teachers that will provide content and grade-level observation and feedback to all teachers gives educators individualized and meaningful support.
- Assess what students actually learned and how they are preforming by using data from several different sources – LMS, test prep and skills practice. Support teachers in becoming content specialists that constantly update curriculum in real time based on data.
- Unlock data so that teachers become “purpose driven” in their instruction. More time analyzing data and increased attentiveness to student progress allows teachers to provide brief analysis of obstacles and pivot lesson plans.
- Take Action by adjusting instruction to improve results – teachers are better able to dig down into conceptual components to build foundational skills to bring students to mastery.
- Build A Culture that school leaders, teachers and students are all invested in. Foster a more collaborative, data driven culture with regularly scheduled data meetings and opportunities to work strategically as a team.
For more on K12, check out:
- Preparing Teachers For Deeper Learning
- Florida Virtual School Prepares Online Teachers with New Course
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