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Ongoing Applied Professional Growth
Unlike the traditional model of professional development that is common in most schools, TAP™ provides teachers with a system of professional development that is ongoing, job-embedded, collaborative, student centered and led by expert instructors. TAP restructures the school schedule to provide time during the regular school day for teachers to meet, learn, plan, mentor and share with other teachers. This common time allows teachers to constantly improve the quality of their instruction and hence, increase their students' academic achievement. Further, teachers learn new instructional strategies and have greater opportunities to collaborate, both of which enable them to become more effective teachers.
Ongoing Applied Professional Growth in TAP schools focuses on identified needs based on instructional issues that specific teachers face with specific students. Teachers use data to target these areas of need, instead of trying to implement the latest fad in professional development.
TAP professional growth includes cluster groups, individual coaching and classroom-based support.
Cluster groups meet for one to two hours weekly during contract time in grade-alike or subject-alike groups. Clusters are led by expert instructors in the school — the master and/or mentor teachers — and their activities are focused on instructional practices as determined by student needs.
Further, the TAP career path establishes a structure where master and mentor teachers provide ongoing classroom-based support. This includes team teaching, conducting classroom demonstration lessons, coaching, giving regular feedback on specific teaching and learning innovations and conducting evaluations and post-conferences.
Sarah Acorn, Middle School Humanities Teacher, Discovery Canyon Campus, Colorado Springs, Colorado
"Having mentor and master teachers is the most beneficial element of TAP. One huge bonus I've seen as a teacher is automatically having someone I know I can go to when I struggle with getting kids to learn a concept or behavior in the classroom . . ."