Using these instructional minutes, we identify best practices in the classroom, where a teacher might be demonstrating facilitation approaches, guided practice, proximal development, higher level questioning or modeling. We use research regarding instructional delivery methods and student learning responses in these extended teaching and learning time blocks of instruction. We identify research resources such as Marzano’s What Works in Classroom Instruction or McTigh’s Understanding by Design (UbD) as examples of best practices resources. In addition, the school’s instructional leader, its Principal is accountable for:
As a result of these approaches, Epiphany Prep uses best practices to accelerate learning in the areas of classroom instruction, lesson design and methods used to motivate and inspire learning. These practices include: Student Engagement; Positive Learning Behavior; Student Collaboration; Blended Learning; Digital Literacy; Cognitively Guided Instruction; Critical Inquiry, including Bloom’s Taxonomy and CGI strategies: Webb’s Depth of Knowledge: Habits of Mind; Socratic Dialogue; Communication ( Writing; Presentations); College and Career Preparation activities; and Counseling and Character/Leadership Skills.
Epiphany Prep believes that teacher quality is the top factor in student success. Teachers are afforded extensive time for professional development during an orientation prior to each school year and one afternoon per week during an early release day. Professional development is differentiated for the instructional staff and collegial partnerships are established so that teachers learn from each other. Professional Learning Communities allow teachers to engage for 100 minutes on average daily so that they can discuss and reflect on student needs, professional development trainings, and share best practices and areas of strength, as well as learn how to improve in areas that need growth, in designing lessons and in reviewing achievement data.
Areas of on-going professional development for staff include, but are not limited to: