From the beginning, Value Schools focused on excellence, growth and continuity. As the core of our school communities, Value Schools teachers are selected for their competence, passion and commitment to our core values. Many join early in their careers, when professional development opportunities are especially important. Such opportunities ensure that our schools build a deep bench of highly qualified teachers who smoothly integrate our core values into every school experience.
This deep bench is essential to our practice of building organizational leadership from within. With the assistance of capacity-building grants from supporters such as The Capital Group Companies Charitable Foundation, Value Schools has embarked on a multi-year program of Leadership Development. In that program, school leaders identified a key ingredient for achieving our desired impact on our students:
- Recruit, retain, and support dedicated high quality and caring educators who share the Value Schools vision.
- Identify and develop opportunities for staff leadership.
To that end, we enable our teachers to plan a career pathway that models what we urge for our young people – lifelong learning. Nothing demonstrates that commitment more than our departing and incoming organizational leaders – former classroom teachers who each served many years as a Value Schools principal. Classroom teachers see that they have pathways to become mentor/coach teachers, administrators and school leaders, or even CEO.
Professional development must be intentional and supported with time and resources. Our school calendars and teacher expectations build in development opportunities with an extensive internal program. Additional support can augment this program with the best quality external resources, such as an annual critical thinking program in northern California, specialized science teaching programs from the American Chemical Society, individualized teacher coaching from Insight Education, and principal development through New Leaders for New Schools.