Two weeks ago PCS announced vacancies for 66 Facilitating Teacher positions. Today is the day we start exploring, in detail, this new options for teachers in terms of career paths. Facilitating Teachers will be expert teachers who have demonstrated a history of being highly effective with students and being highly effective collaborators with other staff members. They will serve by leading a Community of Practice (CoP) where they work side-by-side with a team of two to four other less-experienced teachers. This CoP will co-plan together, allowing the Facilitating Teacher to indirectly influence the learning in multiple classrooms. By working with less-experienced teachers, they can model planning and assessment strategies, serve as an advisor and mentor, and help develop either Beginning or Professional teachers.
A key responsibility of the CoP will be the completion of an annual Collaborative Action Research Project focused on solving a classroom or school-level concern for learning. By becoming an expert in this area, Facilitating Teachers will then have the ability to share the results of their Collaborative Action Research with teachers across the district, building both individual and organizational capacity. Specialized professional learning and coaching will be provided to the Facilitating Teacher, as the leader of the team, with the expectation that the Facilitating Teacher implement these practices and protocols to help guide the entire team through the Collaborative Action Research Project. This process is illustrated below.
In order to apply for the Facilitating Teacher position, teachers must hold an advanced credential, either National Board Certification, a master’s degree in the content area, or an internal certification as identified by the district. FTs must also have an EVAAS rating in excess of “0”; for teachers without a state EVAAS score, they must submit additional proof of a positive impact on student performance. Ideally, FTs will also be rated at least “Accomplished” on Standards 1, 3, and 4 to demonstrate high performance on the Professional Teaching Standards. As a reward for this increased responsibility, Facilitating Teachers would receive a 15% supplement above and beyond the professional teacher pay.
While the bulk of FTs will be allotted to individual schools, the district retains the option to 6 FTs back to create district-placed FTs working with teachers from multiple schools rather than at the same school. This will allow teachers in smaller schools and/or teachers of single-subject areas to apply for and work as a FTs.
The driving force for the identification of FTs will be an identified problem of practice, which will be unique for each school. Schools made a request to the district for a specific number of FTs for the 2017-2018 school year, and once all requests were submitted they were reviewed and allotments were made to schools and then advertised at the district level so that teachers can apply for the positions. Teachers may choose to apply for FT positions either in their current school or in another school in the district, based on the expertise they bring as well as the specific needs of the school.
In essence, Collaborating Teachers (CT) are a sub-set of the Facilitating Teacher path, as these teachers work with a Facilitating Teacher as the other members of the CoP. Collaborating Teachers participate in the Collaborative Action Research Project and receive additional compensation for their efforts. These teachers will not receive additional training from the district, as this is the responsibility of the Facilitating Teacher. Collaborating Teachers will receive an annual supplement of $1,200 for every year they work with a Facilitating Teacher.
In our next post we will begin looking at the remaining two pathways available to teachers: the Multi-Classroom Teacher and the Co-Teaching Teacher.