Eleven teachers reach World-Class Targets
DOUGLAS COUNTY – Some of Douglas County School District’s most amazing teachers are being honored for the daily effort and skill they put in to creating a World-Class education for their students. A total of 11 highly effective DCSD teachers reached at least one of the six World-Class Targets possible in the first year of the pilot, which was designed to honor excellence in teaching.
“These are truly the best of the best,” Assistant Superintendent of Secondary Education Dan McMinimee said. “They are people that are truly gifted in specific areas in our system. We want to highlight and honor them.”
World-Class Targets focus on educational practices that can help ensure the lessons provided in the classroom are the highest quality possible for students. Six targets were ready for the pilot year, including Backward Planning, 21st Century Skills, Professional Growth & Development, Restorative Practices, Student Engagement and Leadership.
A total of 92 teachers applied for the pilot program and 15 were eligible, based on areas in which they were highly effective in their CITE evaluation.
This year, the program will be open to every teacher. In fact, teachers have worked to differentiate each of the targets, so expectations are clear for not only classroom teachers but also those that are specialized.
As teachers define more of the targets, their colleagues will have an opportunity to reach for them too.
“I hope that every teacher in our system can look at these and say, ‘this is something I can aspire to.’ Here are where my strengths are,” McMinimee said.
Speaking of teacher participation, McMinimee says DCSD educators were involved in every step of the process.
“There were teachers involved in developing the World-Class Targets,” McMinimee said. “These are very rigorous targets.”
He added that the teachers that reached the targets were also reviewed by their peers.
“This was not the building principals or an individual from Wilcox that was making a decision about them reaching the targets. We convened groups of teachers that were involved in identifying the targets and developing the criteria and those were the people, a review panel of their peers, who reviewed their evidence,” McMinimee said.
Throughout the process, the team took feedback from the pilot participants and made improvements. For instance, after feedback from teachers, they’ve worked to ensure that any teacher who is rated highly effective in an area eligible for a World Class Target is notified about the opportunity. McMinimee says he also hope that principals will talk about the targets with their most effective teachers during mid-year evaluations, to help them identify targets that may be within reach.
This year the 11 teachers in the pilot reached a total of 22 targets, with one teacher achieving four of the six available. Teachers will receive $500 for each successful target, resulting in the highest achieving teacher receiving a stipend for $2,000.
While the financial reward is nice, McMinimee says he believes that every teacher wants to improve, so they can better serve their students.
“I hope that everyone in our system is aspiring to be the best possible teacher they can. That’s what our kids deserve,” he said.