Educator Growth & Development

㽶Ƶ values and invests in the intentional development, support, and care of our educators and we look for teammates that embody this commitment to growth mindset for themselves and their students.

A common understanding of excellent teaching, strong learning culture and ongoing professional development opportunities are the hallmark of these efforts.

Instructional Support Staff

Dedicated Aides, Instructional Assistants, and Assistant Teachers make up 㽶Ƶ’s instructional support staff and work with students across all of 㽶Ƶ 20 schools, The Learning Center, and Virtual Learning Program. As integral members of our school communities, we are proud to offer robust and meaningful professional development opportunities for instructional support staff.

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What I love about our students is the love and gratitude they express. It’s incredible. Their openness allows me to adapt and create an environment where they feel comfortable holding me accountable. My role goes beyond teaching. It’s about guiding them through life with care and honesty.

– Alexis Russell, Assistant Teacher, Pride Academy

Ongoing Professional Development

  • Content Meetings: Regular time to dive into content knowledge (of curriculum, unit plans, lesson plans, assessments, & standards), pedagogy and student learning
  • Grade Level/Team Meetings: Regular time to come together as a team to share information, build community, learn from colleagues, plan, and collaboratively solve problems
  • All Staff: Dynamic whole group sessions dedicated to team planning, school-wide logistics, workshops, lesson studies, case studies, sharing of great practices, or student work analysis
  • Check-Ins/ One-on-Ones (O3s): Regular check-ins that may be based on observations, student work and data analysis, or reflection and discussion. O3s often also include a chance to practice and develop skills, role play, or design plans.
  • Observations: Informal and formal classroom observations, involving brief walk-throughs or more extended sessions, accompanied by feedback aligned with the .
  • Student Data & Work Analysis: Analyzing many types of student data, including daily exit tickets, unit assessments, and blended learning reports, along with reviewing student work like independent assignments or recorded discussion responses

Further Opportunities for Instructional Support Staff

  • Instructional Support Staff with a bachelor’s can apply for acceptance into the Capital Teaching Residency.
  • Instructional Support Staff with a bachelor’s are eligible and encouraged to apply for 㽶Ƶ’s Fellowship in Special Education, a free pathway for 㽶Ƶ employees to gain licensure in Special Education through DC’s Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE).
  • The Golden Opportunity Fund is a grant program designed to support 㽶Ƶ staff members in implementing new ideas. Prospective project leaders can apply for up to $5,000 in grant funding for their school or up to $10,000 for a network-wide initiative.
  • The Equity Fellowship is a year-long development opportunity for school staff to come together to learn and grow in diversity, equity, and inclusion practices by participating in monthly learning sessions and training.

Capital Teaching Residents

Quality teachers have a proven impact on student success. Capital Teaching Residents learn how to be great teachers, advance educational equity, and get certified at no additional cost while earning a full salary and benefits. 

With a full year of learning under a mentor teacher in an anchor classroom, unparalleled professional development, and a commitment to educational equity, the Capital Teaching Residency provides an alternative and accessible pathway to teaching careers. 㽶Ƶ is looking for residents who will have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution by June 2024, all majors and career changers accepted!

“The Capital Teaching Residency and its benefits are so unique. In my first year, I’ll be PRAXIS certified and have my teaching license. You’re not going to find that anywhere else, along with the skill-set you build and support you receive.”

– Angela Thomas, current Lead Teacher & former Resident, Connect Academy

CTR Overview

  • Professional Development: During the residency year, residents are expected to fully participate in all professional development, including weekly certification courses led by the CTR team, and regular network and school specific professional development meetings.
  • Certification & Licensure: At the conclusion of your residency year, residents apply for licensure through the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) with the support of the CTR team. This process requires that residents pass several Praxis exams, the cost of which is subsidized by the CTR team.
  • Coursework: In addition to being a resident teacher at their training site in an anchor classroom, each resident is also a student. Residents submit four certification assignments and six projects throughout the year. The assignments and projects reflect the pedagogical and practical skills required for lead teachers.
  • CTR Team Advisor:Residents will each be assigned a CTR team advisor who will facilitate small-group office hours for them, grade their assignments, and serve as an added layer of support during the residency year.
  • Gradual Release: Each resident is placed as a full-time school employee in a 㽶Ƶ school, their training site for the residency year. Throughout the training year, residents are given additional classroom responsibilities along a set continuum. This increase in responsibility is reflected in the CTR gradual release model (GRM) and will be tailored to each school and resident’s needs.
  • CTR Team Advisor: Residents will each be assigned a CTR team advisor who will facilitate small-group office hours for them, grade their assignments, and serve as an added layer of support during the residency year.
  • Ongoing Support: Residents spent the first year of this three year commitment – their residency year – training in an anchor classroom with a highly effective lead teacher to develop and grow skills and confidence. Residents will also have the opportunity to independently apply new skills and abilities in other grades and subjects within their school communities. This dual approach allows residents to learn alongside a mentor teacher, strengthen skills, and apply new learnings within their school community.

Lead Teacher

㽶Ƶ believes that, just like our students, all teachers can learn and grow, and that it is our responsibility to nurture our teachers’ success. Teachers with strong growth mindsets for themselves and students thrive within 㽶Ƶ’s layered systems of development and support. A common understanding of excellent teaching, strong learning culture and ongoing professional development opportunities are the hallmark of these efforts.

“The adults in this building really care about the entirety of our students. There’s no one here that only wants a student to be able to multiply or only wants them to be a good essay writer. Every adult in this building puts in the effort to get to know our students and families on a personal level.”

– Bridget Dean, Lead Teacher, Heights Academy

Vision for Teaching Excellence

 

Vision for Teaching Excellence

  • Content Knowledge:Teachers at 㽶Ƶ are experts in their content areas and display an exemplary ability to build understanding and interest in students at multiple ability levels. Teachers connect content across disciplines, to real life, and use their own content mastery to empower students to think deeply about academic content.
  • Instructional Responsiveness:Teachers use data to engage in a deliberate cycle of internalization, planning, delivery, questioning, feedback, and reflection to move student mastery forward in academic and socio-emotional learning.  Teachers are aware of how all students are performing and are able to adapt to meet the needs of students.
  • Care of Students & Classroom Culture: Teachers set a joyful authentic tone and build loving relationships so that each student and family feels valued. Teachers encourage student voice, promote independent thinking, and encourage students to take risks academically and socially. Teachers collaborate with families and empower students to work towards ambitious academic and socio-emotional learning goals.
  • Growth & Development: Teachers at 㽶Ƶ are continuous learners and seek out feedback and development opportunities, while also being self reflective about their own practice. Teachers apply flexibility and a problem-solving approach to persist through challenges. Teachers have a deep and growing understanding of their own identity, mindsets, and biases and use this insight to inform their teaching and professional development.

Teacher Leaders at 㽶Ƶ are supported in exemplifying our Vision for Teaching Excellence through:

  • Ongoing Professional Development: Through meaningful professional development, we  foster a culture of continuous learning, leading to improved teaching practices, and ultimately strong student experiences and outcomes.
    School BasedRegional Development
    Content MeetingsSummer Professional Development
    Grade Level/Team MeetingsDevelopment Days
    All-Staff MeetingsFree Program for Special Education Certification
    Check-ins/One-on-OnesNew Teacher Launch Cohort
    ObservationsDiversity, Equity, and Inclusion Coalition
    Student Data & Work AnalysisCulturally Responsive Curriculum Committee
    Peer ObservationsTeacher Leader Academy
  • School Specific PD: Sessions, led by regional or school-based teams, that are aligned with the goals of the school, the current school data, or the learning needs of teachers.
  • Leadership Opportunities: While all educators at 㽶Ƶ have the opportunity to lead from their position, some teachers elect to pursue additional leadership opportunities such as Grade Level Chair, Department Chair, Committee Leads, New Teacher Launch Cohort Leader, or Teacher Leader Academy, all of which prepare teachers for success in their classroom and beyond.
  • Teacher Leader Academy: Teacher leaders at 㽶Ƶ drive great results for students and exemplify the Vision for Teaching Excellence.  Teacher Leader Academy is a year-long, cohort based professional development program designed to expand teacher leaders’ skills and mindsets. Regular sessions support teacher leaders in unpacking their identity as a leader, analyzing data for student outcomes, and developing their ability to impact and influence others.
  • The Fellowship in Special Education: The Fellowship in Special Education is a development and licensure program serving schools and teachers across Washington, DC. Program participants will increase their capacity to implement and adapt supports to meet the needs of all students. Upon successful completion of all program requirements, Fellows are eligible to gain licensure in Special Education through DC’s Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE).
  • Teacher Launch Cohort: First year teachers, in select grades, participate in the Teacher Launch Cohort. The Teacher Launch Cohort is a year-long, cohort-based professional development experience designed to strengthen new teachers’ knowledge, mindsets, and skillsets for building and maintaining positive and productive classroom environments rooted in the

Deans and Coaches

Deans and Coaches support teachers and students across 㽶Ƶ’s 22 schools and are integral to all of our schools’ success. Some deans and coaches are members of school leadership teams while others partner with instructional or student support teams. Deans and Coaches are leaders in curriculum and instruction, school culture, and/or multi-tiered systems of support.

Photo of Jeremiah Johnson, Instructional Coach

“New Deans and Coaches was a huge catalyst to my growth as a leader. It truly taught me to take all of the tasks that lived in my head and create bite-sized, feasible, and sustainable action which allowed me to better lead my team and preserve my well-being.”

– Jeremiah Johnson, Instructional Coach

First year school-based deans and coaches participate in a year-long professional development experience with a cohort of leaders from across 㽶Ƶ. In community with others first year deans and coaches from across gradebands, cohort members build relationships and skills critical for people stepping into leadership.

This group will participate in PD together throughout the year to support and challenge each other’s growth and development.

Vice Principals

Vice principals support driving academic outcomes, care, and a sense of belonging for our students as a key member of the school’s leadership team. They lead both instruction and school culture as the leaders of teams of teachers and students.

“It brings me immense joy to see students eagerly anticipating their interactions with their teachers. From this vantage point, the journey has been nothing short of extraordinary. Knowing that I have a team of individuals wholeheartedly committed to transforming the lives of our students is the driving force behind my dedication to being a principal.”

– Amber Boothe, Principal, Connect Academy

Ongoing Professional Development

  • Mentorship: Vice principals are a key member of their school leadership team. Their principal will provide the job training which will fuel their growth and development.
  • Coaching: All first year vice principals will participate in bi-weekly coaching sessions with a leadership coach.
  • Cohort Professional Development: All first year vice principals will participate in the Rising Leaders cohort, both in the summer and throughout the school year. Rising Leaders is a year-long professional development program informed by the .
  • Project-Based Learning: All first year vice principals will have the opportunity to complete projects aligned to the and receive meaningful, practical feedback on their work as a vice principal.

Principals in Residence

The Principal in Residence (PIR) program is a two-year, regionally-operated leadership development residency to prepare aspiring principals with the adaptive, technical, and managerial skills to lead a 㽶Ƶ school.

“PIR was great for me because it allowed me to build on my years of experience as a vice principal with school leader moments that felt new – running part of our budget, coaching a new leader, and hiring new teachers. I also worked with my principal in more of a mentor relationship, and got better insight into what her role is like on a day to day basis.”

– Jesse Perutz, Principal, Lead Academy

Ongoing Professional Development

  • Mentorship: PIRs are a full-time member of their residency school leadership team. They will be supported in their development by a mentor school leader who acts as your coach and model for exceptional school leadership.
  • Coaching: PIRs will receive ongoing coaching by a mentor school leader. There may also be additional leadership coaching provided.
  • Cohort Professional Development: PIRs will receive formal professional development aligned to 㽶Ƶ’s leadership competencies and targeting specific developmental needs alongside a cohort of peers who will lead our schools in coming years.
  • Readiness Checkpoints: Readiness checkpoints provide an opportunity for the PIR and support team to reflect on progress towards becoming a school leader.