Teacher Leadership & Compensation System

December 16th, 2013

Last month I wrote about education reform in Iowa and the opportunity school districts have with the Teacher Leadership and Compensation System grant. This month, I want to share a little about what we are considering at MOC-Floyd Valley. The Teacher Quality Team, made up of teachers and administrators, has studied various options.

Historically, it is clear that when we have made the most progress as a system, it has been the result of meaningful collaboration. With this in mind, we are developing a plan that utilizes the Teacher/Student Advancement Program (TAP).

The TAP Program was designed, and is supported by the National Institute for Excellence in Teaching. It is a model that emphasizes research-based instructional practices that ultimately lead to increased student achievement. The emphasis is on meaningful, ongoing collaboration around these research-based instructional practices. There are four elements to the TAP Program. They are:

Multiple Career Pathways—In TAP schools, skilled teachers have the opportunity to serve as master and mentor teachers, receiving additional compensation for providing high levels of support to career teachers. Master and mentor teachers form a leadership team, along with administrators, to deliver school-based professional support with a high level of expertise.

Ongoing Applied Professional Development—TAP teachers participate in weekly professional learning community meetings led by the master and mentor teachers, in which they examine student data, engage in collaborative planning and learn instructional strategies that are best suited to the needs of their students. Professional development continues into each classroom as master teachers model lessons, observe classroom instruction, and support all teachers in improving their teaching.

Instructionally-Focused Accountability—TAP teachers are observed in classroom instruction several times a year by multiple trained observers, including principals and master and mentor teachers. They use a very well-developed, research-based instructional rubric as a guide during these observations. Observation results are used as formative feedback in one-on-one mentoring sessions and guide planning for PLC Team meetings.

Performance-Based Compensation—Every teacher in TAP schools has the opportunity to earn a small stipend that is based upon observed skills, knowledge, and responsibilities, along with measured student growth in achievement.

The actual Teacher Leadership & Compensation System Plan will be presented to the School Board and the School Improvement Advisory Council on Monday, January 13. It is my hope that we will submit our approved plan to the Department of Education by January 31. Schools will be notified by the middle of March regarding selection.

Utilizing the TAP system will be a major undertaking for everyone at MOC-Floyd Valley, but we believe it will provide all of our teachers with the ongoing training and support needed to best serve our students.

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