High Quality Teachers: A “Teacher of the Year” in Every Class

Teacher of the YearThe notion of the “Teacher of the Year” is a teacher who demonstrates exceptional dedication, knowledge and skills to inspire student success. Research confirms that no other factor in schooling matters more to student success than having a high performing teacher in the classroom (RAND Education, 2013). To that end, we believe that every student deserves to have a ‘teacher of the year’ every year that they are in our care. Our staff commits to a collective, relentless pursuit of excellence.

Village of Excellence Academy Middle School has developed an aggressive system to find high performing teachers who will adopt the “failure is not an option” mentality to eradicate the achievement gap within our community. Using best practices in human capital research, the teacher corps is taken through a rigorous induction process that evaluates their effectiveness and proves a continuous improvement model in 30, 45, 60 and 90-day cycles of evaluation. Teachers meet with the administration on a weekly basis to discuss student progress and assess teacher effectiveness.

With this staff, our goal is to eradicate the achievement gap. We do not delve into trial and error practices with our students. We examine the research to evaluate the effectiveness of strategies prior to incorporating these practices into our curricular planning. It is imperative that the student population receives the best-of-the-best instruction each and every day that they are in attendance. Students are driven to master (not just cover) the content prescribed in the Next Generation/Common Core State Standards. It is our practice that students learn content in reading and mathematics equivalent to one year’s academic gain or more. The hallmark of our elementary school is that our students make learning gains that are equivalent to one year’s gain; 55-89% of the students make a minimum of a year’s gain in reading and mathematics.

To maximize our time with the students, we use assessment tools to target and differentiate instruction. This allows the teacher to remediate skill deficits, compact mastered objectives and accelerate learning. Specific learning goals and activities are developed to support the student in mastery of grade level content. Our dynamic assessment system includes nationally recognized tests as well as locally created tools.