In Mill Valley School District, we value our teachers and the expertise they bring to their classrooms. To ensure that they are continually developing their skills, our district provides a robust, high quality professional development program. All teachers are given multiple opportunities throughout the year to participate in trainings that are focused on improving student learning.
To maintain this emphasis on supporting students’ academic growth, the majority of our professional development takes place when students are in session. This allows teachers to observe instruction and learn from it. Teachers have been able to model demonstration lessons for their colleagues and debrief their learning together. They have been able to collectively plan a lesson and discuss its effectiveness after observing a colleague teach the lesson to students. They have been able to engage in Learning Walks by visiting multiple classrooms together and reflecting on the best practices they noticed.
We recognize that our professional development asks teachers to leave their classrooms occasionally and requires substitute teachers to step in. We believe that the long-term professional benefit that our teachers receive from these days collaborating with colleagues, planning together, and observing each other’s instruction is worth the time outside of their classrooms. They come back better equipped with skills and knowledge that allows them to be more effective teachers with their own students.
We are proud of our teachers in Mill Valley School District. They are remarkable in large part because they stay current and continually learn, evaluate, collaborate with peers, and selectively implement best practices on behalf of student learning. They play a significant role in making our district so exceptional.