Teachers play a vital role in the efficiency and effectiveness of learning in the Cherry Creek School District.
The district's more than 3,700 teachers are much more than employees – they're dedicated professionals charged with the education and future of our students. In effect, our teachers help shape the identity and steer the future of Cherry Creek Schools.
It's no wonder, then, that this corps of professionals – most of whom have advanced degrees and more than 10 years' of experience – have a voice in steering guidelines when it comes to learning. Earlier this semester, dozens of dedicated teachers from elementary, middle and high schools across the district reported to the Instructional Support Facility in Centennial to talk about the status of standards in the Cherry Creek School District.
The meeting on Sept. 27 saw input from teachers regarding the future of learning in the district. Teachers had an important voice in the standards prioritization process, an approach that ensures that students in the district receive an education that properly prepares them for the intellectual, professional and technological demands of the 21st century.
"Our goal is for our teachers to help determine the system," said Floyd Cobb, executive director of Curriculum and Instruction for the district. "Our teachers will discuss what they want students to know, what they want them to be able to do. We've deliberately taken teachers from every school and every feeder."
These teachers from across the district had the opportunity to take part in focused conversations about the learning that occurs every day in their classrooms, and offer insights about priorities and essential skills. For teachers like Tom Fitzgerald, who teaches English at Smoky Hill High School, the forum was an opportunity to look to the future of the profession, as well as the most pressing priorities for his current students.
"When we get a chance like this to dig in, it gets us to be more purposeful in our classrooms," Fitzgerald said. "It gives us the chance to step back and reflect on our practice. We get to learn from each other … This forum helps me to rethink elements of my approach and think beyond established practices."
Feedback from the meeting will become a part of a larger standards prioritization process that is taking place throughout the year. A master document that incorporates the best feedback from CCSD teachers would be used to support planning and assessments throughout the district.
"This has been a great process," Cobb said. "We're very appreciative of our teachers."