Teaching Excellence (TE), YES Prep’s premier teacher development program, embarked on a partnership with Etoile Academy and Yellowstone Charter Academy to support the organization’s first-year and novice teachers. TE also partners with KIPP-Houston, Spring Branch ISD, and BakerRipley. Novice teachers attend a two and half week summer induction and then receive continued support through one-on-one instructional coaching and monthly professional learning. We asked Carlos Villagrana, Managing Director of TE, to discuss these new partnerships.
This year Teaching Excellence (TE) is proud to welcome two new partnership districts, Etoile Academy and Yellowstone Charter Academy. Both of our newest partners share a strong alignment to Teaching Excellence’s values of accelerating teacher effectiveness to improve the academic and social outcomes for the students of Houston.
Yellowstone Academy has been serving Houston’s Third Ward for the past 15 years. Yellowstone has recently gained approval from the Texas Education Agency to open “Yellowstone College Prep”, which is dedicated to building leaders from 5th to 12th grade.
What do you hope to gain from the partnership?
Teaching Excellence hopes to continue accelerating the effectiveness of teachers in classrooms across the city of Houston, expanding its impact on meeting the diverse novice-teacher development needs of each of its partnership districts. As much as a district’s novice teachers learn from Teaching Excellence and it’s high-caliber team of Instructional Coaches during their first year as a teacher, Teaching Excellence learns just as much about the needs of each district, campus, and teacher and how to better accelerate a teachers’ development. Above all else, Teaching Excellence aspires to be the best at putting novice teachers on a developmental trajectory that will improve the outcomes of their students.
What will collaboration between your programs look like throughout the school year?
Teaching Excellence teachers participate in high-quality professional learning and instructional coaching throughout the academic year. It all begins with an intensive 2.5-week Induction that begins in early July and is just wrapping up this week. TE teachers will also attend monthly Professional Learning Saturdays and complete Professional Learning Modules that directly impact their instruction, with the guidance and feedback from their Instructional Coach, immediately following their in-person professional learning.
A critical collaboration occurs throughout the school-year as the campus instructional leader, novice-teacher, and Instructional Coach work together to continuously grow a teachers’ instructional aptitudes. Instructional Coaches observer their TE teachers every 1.5-2 weeks and align bi-monthly, at minimum, with a TE teachers’ campus instructional leader. This high-level of alignment and norming ensures that TE teachers get precisely the development they need, when they need it, and in a format that is most accessible to novice teachers.
How many teachers were awarded scholarships from the WFF grant?
The Teaching Excellence Scholarship Committee, on behalf of the generous contributions of the Walton Family Foundation, is proud to have awarded 127 individual scholarships, ranging from $211.50 – $4,750, to 94 novice educators in the 2018 Teaching Excellence cohort. These awards will support teachers as they transition into the field of education and are supporting the increased diversification and persistence of the Teaching Excellence cohort. The committee is already excited about next year’s TE Scholarship Program distribution.