What a boring title–Investing for Strong Instruction–I will be shocked if anyone chooses to read this post, but the topic is so important. What goes into deciding how to invest fundraised money to make sure our kids get great instruction? Is there a one-size fits all answer? Will full-time TAs make things better for our kids? What about smaller class sizes? What about more field trips?
In an ideal situation we would be so flush with resources no one would have to choose one type of support over another. We’d have it all! Unfortunately, we don’t have a bottomless bag of cash to pay for all of the above. We do know one thing, though: research has shown that it is the quality of the teacher that make the biggest difference for all kids when it comes to achievement.
Armed with that research and her own experience, Principal Wang is always looking for ways to make our teachers better. She makes grade-level meetings, mentoring, using data to guide and evaluate instruction, and a hands-on administrative team (Principal Wang, Assistant Principal Mrs. McErlean, and Instructional Coach, Mrs. Garmon) a priority for Broadway. She knows a strong teacher who is mentored and encouraged to grow will be strong year after year. The investments in professional support and development made in our teachers this year will reap benefits for years to come.
So what about the rest? Our TAs, STAR PE, field trips, etc. are great, but they aren’t the same as professional development and support. To use all of those additional supports effectively, the teachers need to have the coordination, the support and the mentoring that our administrative team strives so hard to provide. They need to know how to best utilize a TA, differentiate instruction for the specific group of students they have this year, to coordinate with their team and grade-level partners, and integrate field trip opportunities that reinforce the California standards that our kids are expected to meet.
Principal Wang looks at every investment she asks Friends of Broadway to make in terms attending to that “how.” As our programs continue to grow and evolve, and as our funding landscape also changes every year, she regularly re-evaluates what is the best use of funds to elevate and support our teachers’ effectiveness. We are so lucky to have her at the helm of this amazing school.
Posted by Suzy Hughes, Secretary