Support For Our Teachers
Professional development is not limited to structured, in-person professional learning sessions. While those do and will occur, professional development is a cycle. It has become cliché to say that teachers are lifelong learners. What does it mean to be a lifelong learner? It means to never get rooted in our ways, to always seek out research related to best practices, and to push oneself to do and be better. We are never perfect. As a result, Torres provides teachers layers of professional development.
Layer 1 - Whole or Small Group Professional Learning
Teachers will participate in whole or small group professional learning experiences. These may be led by consultants, field experts, school and network administrators, or instructional staff. These experiences occur on Wednesdays and/or professional development days. These experiences are also diversified by role. CPDUs are provided for these experiences.
Layer 2 - Data Analysis Cycles
Teachers regularly participate in data analysis cycles to monitor their classroom's performance against the school's primary metric (70% of students achieving 70% or higher on end-of-unit assessments).These cycles are led by a member of the Instructional Leadership Team. The outcome achieves two things: (1) teachers engage in professional discourse related to strong student outcomes and (2) teachers identify the gaps between content and students' ability to master the content. With this, teachers can course correct to reteach standards that students did not master. CPDUs can be provided for these experiences.
Layer 3 - School-Based Committees or Action Research Initiatives
Teachers take ownership of their school by participating as teacher leaders on select school-based committees. Experienced teachers who have experienced strong student outcomes can also propose action research initiatives.
Layer 4 - External Professional Learning
Though limited budgetarily, teachers can submit a request to participate in an external professional learning experience.
Layer 5 - Evaluation and Instructional Feedback
Please see the evaluation section for more details on how it is implemented. Instructional feedback occurs after informal observations, informal evaluative observations, formal evaluative observations, and walkthroughs. Administrators use standardized feedback forms/systems to provide teachers feedback, but also meet in person to discuss all three elements of the instructional core: instructional moves, student task, and content.