At DLA we believe our students’ achievements are the direct result of our teachers’ effectiveness. We believe teachers are leaders in their classrooms and are responsible for their students’ success. The more effective our teachers are, the more effective our students will be. Thus, we invest heavily in teacher development through:
- Ongoing professional development aligned to the DLA Teacher Performance Rubric
- Training on research-based high impact practices that align with our school model and priorities, such as data-driven instruction, balanced literacy, higher order questioning, and project-based learning
- Opportunities to practice techniques and strategies and receive feedback from the team prior to implementing in the classroom with students
- Weekly opportunities to collaborate with grade level partners, department teams, and the intervention team
- Frequent classroom observations and 1-on-1 coaching
Our guiding principles are for professional development at DLA to be research-based, high quality, and model the DLA way.
It is important for teachers to come together weekly as a community of learners to improve their practice. Every Friday from 2:30-4:30 DLA teachers meet to learn, collaborate, practice, and 31 plan. The academic team plans and facilitates Friday Collaboration. Agendas and supporting documents are shared in advance and teacher-created plans are posted afterwards. On a rotating basis, Friday Collaboration includes time for: 1) Teachers to learn and practice high impact instructional practices - listed on the lesson plan template 2) Department Teams to go through the data-driven instruction cycle 4) House Teams to meet to check in on common routines, procedures, and BTT expectations.
Grade Level Meetings
Grade level partners meet at least once a week during planning periods with a focus on classroom culture and student investment. Meetings have an agenda and notes are shared with the admin team. The goal of GLMs is for grade level partners to be normed on routines, procedures, and expectations to provide consistency for students. As part of the RTI process, once a month grade level partners collaborate with the Student Success Team to discuss student concerns and identify interventions to provide.
DLA plans and facilitates three professional development days before school starts and three professional development days during the school year. The content of these days is driven by our school goals, priorities, and student achievement data. Agendas and supporting documents are provided in advance. Sessions are focused on objectives and include time for reflection, collaboration, practice, and planning. Sessions are lead by DLA school leaders, teacher leaders, and outside expert trainers.
Research shows that a teacher develops as much in one year as most teachers do in twenty years by receiving weekly observation and feedback. Our goal for coaching is to find the most effective ways to coach teachers to improve student learning.