Faculty

My teachers are unfailingly supportive, encouraging me to pursue my own path while pushing me gently to go deeper into the subject matter.” UPrep student

Our faculty members exhibit passion for working with youth, possess deep expertise in their disciplines, work collaboratively with each other, and constantly strive to improve their own teaching practices to provide the best possible educational experience for our students. We hire, mentor, and develop faculty members to further develop these traits.

Each teacher has one or more teaching partners, with whom they co-create course curricula, lesson plans, and assessments. They also regularly attend education conferences and substantially revise courses over the summer. Teachers sit together in department offices, so that they may exchange ideas and plan together.

Promising teacher leaders at UPrep apply to become department heads, who then meet regularly with division directors and the academic dean to coordinate and direct the school’s instructional program. Our academic team includes the head of school, division directors, and the academic dean.

At University Prep, we constantly talk about teaching and learning, bridging research and practice for the sake of student success. The end goal always stays front and center: developing each student’s potential to become an intellectually courageous, socially responsible citizen of the world.

Characteristics of Good Teaching at UPrep

Qualifications for Teaching

Teachers at University Prep must demonstrate:

a) a love for students, for teaching, for subject(s) taught.

b) an understanding of and commitment to the school’s mission.

c) an ability to communicate and connect with students.

d) a talent for teaching as an art.

e) a deep knowledge of, passion for and currency in subject(s) taught.

f) knowledge about adolescent development.

g) knowledge about learning styles.

h) commitment to ensuring an equitable educational experience for all students.

i) an ability to recognize and commitment to interrupting biased behavior in and out of the classroom.

j) a working knowledge of cultural competency.

Academic Responsibilities

As members of a faculty, teachers at University Prep must:

a) act collegially within their school, division, department, and discipline, fulfilling all expectations and obligations of each constituency with initiative and grace.

b) willingly and actively engage in professional development and evaluation, most particularly that associated with the ITIP.

c) work with peers to ensure the quality, content, scope, sequence, and benchmarking of the curriculum.

d) fulfill obligations to students and their families in terms of instruction, communication, and advising.

e) be willing to engage in self reflection with respect to teaching content and practice and its impact on students.

Lesson Design

Teachers must, on a daily basis, design and implement lessons that:

a) are mission congruent.

b) address multiple learning styles, cultural backgrounds, viewpoints.

c) have content consistent with scope and sequence.

d) have clear learning objectives. e) are developmentally appropriate.

f) employ different types of activities.

g) provide a balance between group work and individual work.

h) integrate technology effectively and appropriately.

i) represent a variety of cultures and perspectives throughout the curriculum

Delivery

Every class must evidence:

a) successfully differentiated instruction.

b) full participation and engagement by all.

c) developmentally appropriate teaching methods and materials.

d) appropriate balance between teacher-­centered and student-­centered instruction.

e) effective utilization of classroom time.

f) appropriate pacing for every student.

g) well considered and well managed transitions.

h) a teacher who is sensitive and responsive to need for flexibility and/or redirection of lesson.

Assessment

All assignments and assessment tools must:

a) lead to meeting learning objectives.

b) align with scope and sequence.

c) be meaningful and relevant to the course.

d) speak to multiple types of learners.

e) be aligned with what is taught.

f) be both formative and summative.

g) have clearly communicated rationale and expectations.

h) promote students’ levels of responsibility and self-­advocacy.

i) be returned to students in a timely fashion with useful, thoughtful and respectful teacher responses.

j) be graded in an equitable, clear and appropriate manner.

k) take into account differential access to resources along with varying family structures and cultures.

l) provide opportunities for multiple perspectives to be shared.

Classroom Environment

The classroom environment must promote above all the development of intellectual courage in the students by providing a space in which:

a) ideas are received and discussed respectfully.

b) there are high expectations for learning.

c) free and open inquiry is the norm.

d) an atmosphere of mutual trust and respect prevails.

e) there is intellectual challenge and emotional safety.

f) appropriate boundaries are maintained between all individuals.

g) routines and behavioral expectations are made clear.

h) every student feels connected to the teacher, to the other students, to the process, and can work effectively.

i) there is comfort, but not chaos.

j) students are physically safe.

k) there are appropriate resources available to students.

l) any discipline is consistent, fair, appropriate, effective, and communicated to student, parents and division directors appropriately.

m)sharing various viewpoints and personal stories is both safe and welcomed.

Outside the Classroom

It is expected that all faculty will engage in the life of University Prep community beyond their contractual duties by:

a) being respectful and supportive of all members of the school community.

b) forming meaningful relationships with students, colleagues, and families.

c) demonstrating interest in and support for student endeavors by attending events, helping them happen or come to fruition, encouraging and advising students with their projects and ideas .

d) volunteering their time and talents in generous-­hearted and imaginative ways so the life of the school is enriching for all.

Inclusive Pedagogical Practices

All teachers will work to be socially just and equitable in their planning, delivery, and assessment of materials and in their interactions with students, families, and the school community by:

a) creating a classroom environment that is supportive, educational, and working towards freedom of exclusive or oppressive behaviors, whether implicit or explicit.

b) appropriately responding to any student or adult behaviors that are offensive, biased, or perpetuate discriminatory ideas and actions.

c) recognizing their own implicit and explicit biases and working to interrupt and break these patterns of behavior.

d) ensuring course content and curriculum addresses issues around race, gender, sexuality, religion, oppression, class, representation, biases, etc.

e) taking into account multiple learning styles, cultural backgrounds, and diverse viewpoints of students when designing and implementing lessons.

f) allowing students to demonstrate mastery of material through a variety of assessment types, taking into account differential access to resources along with varying family structures and cultures.

g) planning and providing structures that support student safety through clear expectations, as well as flexibility in expectations.

h) developing and utilizing an understanding of the unique cultural backgrounds of all students, families, and colleagues in all forms of interactions.

UPrep Teachers

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Individualized Teaching Improvement Plan (ITIP) at University Prep

All University Prep teachers participate in ITIP, the Individualized Teaching Improvement Plan. Teachers set professional learning goals, receive feedback on their teaching, design a personal growth plan, make changes to their teaching, and share the results with their peers. University Prep has received national recognition for linking professional growth, evaluation, and compensation in this innovative program.

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