North is the only DPS high school designated as a “DPS Teacher Academy”, proof of the strength and high quality of instruction provided to our students. Each year, 12-15 student teachers are full-time in many core subject classrooms working with students alongside master teachers.
Teacher Leadership & Collaboration (TLC) is a leadership model that allows DPS’s best teachers to coach and grow other teachers in their schools while staying true to their first love, teaching their own classroom of kids.
North High was one of the first schools in DPS to implement TLC (formerly called Differentiated Roles), in 2012. It’s a model that is helping North High and other schools become stronger learning organizations and gives our teachers the kind of supports that professionals in other knowledge-based, learning-intensive professions receive. With Teacher Leadership and Collaboration, a senior teacher spends part of the day coaching other teachers — observing and sometimes co-teaching with them in their classrooms, providing feedback, and leading collaborative planning among teacher teams — while still getting part of the day to teach themselves.
Feedback from our teachers about TLC show they appreciate learning from peer teachers who understand their kids and our school. And they love the fact that they can develop leadership skills without leaving their classrooms.
For school leaders, TLC is changing their role in a positive way. Instead of one principal being responsible for coaching, leading and observing 20 or 30 teachers in a building all by him or herself, schools have several teacher leaders, each supporting a small team of teachers. That’s what DPS is aiming for — smaller teams, led by teacher leaders, and a principal who becomes in some ways a coach of coaches, rather than a sole coach in a building.