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Dcps Teaching Fellowes Personal Statement

At DCPS, your impact starts in your classroom – but doesn't end there. Together, our team of passionate educators is defying expectations about what DC's students can achieve and changing the path of public education.

JOIN THE NATION'S BEST TEACHERS – AND BECOME EVEN BETTER. We're looking for dynamic teachers who insist on excellence and are passionate about honing their craft. At DCPS, you'll get the feedback you need to do your best work, colleagues who share your high standards, and opportunities to lead without leaving the classroom.

WE PAY OUR TEACHERS LIKE PROFESSIONALS AND CELEBRATE THEM LIKE ROCKSTARS. Top teachers can earn up to $100,000 in salary and bonuses by their fourth year and win awards of up to $10,000 for classroom excellence. Every year, we recognize the very best with an annual Standing Ovation gala at the Kennedy Center. 

WE'RE MAKING HISTORY. We’re setting an ambitious standard for great teaching and making it a reality across the district. With your help, we’ll transform education for our 49,000 students and become the first urban district to close the gap between students from low-income backgrounds and their more affluent peers.

JOIN US. We accept applications in all subjects and grade levels. We are particularly interested in candidates with a track record of success in the classroom. Watch our video about teaching in DCPS, view our deadlines and start your application today.

To speak directly to one of our recruiters, reach out to us at teach.dcps@dc.gov.

Stay connected with the DCPS recruitment team! Watch our webinar today, and check out our recruitment and events calendar.  

"I think I would have been lost without my instructional coach. The first day she came up to me and said, 'Hi. I know you are a first year teacher and I just wanted to let you know that I am here to support you.'"

–Vivian Secaida, Dual Language Teacher at Oyster Adams Bilingual School

There's nothing DCPS takes more seriously than helping teachers reach their professional peak. Here's how we help teachers grow:

A GROUNDBREAKING TEACHER EVALUATION SYSTEM (IMPACT). At DCPS, you'll finally have real conversations about teaching that help you get better every day. IMPACT sets a high bar for great instruction, gives all teachers a clear understanding of how they can grow, and provides useful feedback that helps them do their best work. Watch the video on IMPACT.

INNOVATIVE PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT.We’ve made an unprecedented investment in our teachers. In the 2016-2017 school year we launched a new professional learning program called LEAP (LEearning together to Advance our Practice). At its core, LEAP is about helping teachers become truly expert at teaching the DCPS Common Core-aligned curriculum so that every student across the city experiences rich, engaging, and challenging instruction every day. To do this, teachers engage in a weekly cycle of development in small content-specific professional learning communities (LEAP Teams) at their schools. These teams are led by content experts (LEAP Leaders) at their schools.

The Essential Practices are DCPS’ definition of effective instruction and outline the key actions we believe lead to increased student achievement. The Essential Practices provide a common language for effective instruction, which enables us to align IMPACT and professional support. They also provide clear expectations for teachers and illustrate what success looks like in DCPS classrooms. Check out the align Training Platform, a platform with training modules to ensure all DCPS teachers have a solid understanding of the Essential Practices.

You can log in to the align Training Platform using the following information.
Username: DCPSapplicant Password: TeachDC

AN UNPRECEDENTED TEACHER CAREER LADDER.  Through the Leadership Initiative For Teachers (LIFT), great teachers can extend their reach – for example, leading subject area meet-up groups and shaping district decisions – without leaving the classroom. Watch the video on LIFT.

"Teachers have the opportunity to make more than $130,000 a year. It's not that money should drive this work, but it most certainly makes me feel respected as an educator that somebody recognizes the work I do is just as important as a lawyer or doctor."

–Camia Hoard, master educator and 15-year veteran teacher

At DCPS, you don't have to choose between doing what you love and making a great living. We believe teachers are highly skilled professionals and should be compensated accordingly.

Our progressive salary scale is the first in the nation to reward excellence in a real way. Top teachers can earn up to $100,000 in salary and bonuses by their fourth year and win awards of up to $10,000 for classroom excellence.

Simply put, great teachers can earn more in DCPS than in any other district.

"What happens in DC Public Schools has national implications."

–Arne Duncan, Former U.S. Secretary of Education

No traditional public school district in the nation has closed the achievement gap between students from low-income backgrounds and their more affluent peers.

Individual schools have done it. Some charter school networks have done it. But DCPS is going to be the first large urban school system to do it.

Today, we're at the cutting edge of education reform, doing the work that most districts are just talking about.

It all starts with a simple idea: make great teaching the priority. We can't control whether students come to school hungry or what other challenges they face outside of school. But for eight hours each day we can give every student the chance to learn from an excellent teacher – and defy expectations about what our students are able to achieve.

Every student can excel academically. We're on a mission to show that traditional public school districts – where 95 percent of our nation's students are educated – can succeed at the very highest levels. You can help make it happen.

LEAP (LEarning together to Advance our Practice)

DCPS is one of the fastest improving urban school districts in America. In fact, over the past decade, we've nearly doubled the number of students who are proficient in reading and math. As a result of our progress, more and more families are choosing DCPS for their children.

We’re making an unprecedented investment in our teachers. To help ensure that every child experiences outstanding instruction every single day in our district, we have launched a new professional learning program called LEAP (LEearning together to Advance our Practice).

We are helping teachers hone their crafts. At its core, LEAP is about creating content-specific professional learning communities (LEAP Teams) in our schools. Through LEAP, teachers will learn about and apply the latest Common Core instructional practices with their peers. They’ll also get weekly observations and feedback from content experts. In short, we’re aiming to make DCPS the best place in America to become an expert teacher.

Take the LEAP and join DCPS! If you love helping support teachers, come join us as a LEAP Team Leader. LEAP Teams will be led by educators who are experts in a particular content area. The team leaders can be a Teacher Leader (a teacher who teaches part-time and coaches part-time), an Instructional Coach (who coaches full-time), or an Assistant Principal (who coaches 75% of the time and supports other school-wide initiatives 25% of the time).

You can become a Teacher Leader through the Teacher Leadership Innovation (TLI) program, which offers excellent teachers the opportunity to teach for at least 50% of the day and spend the remainder of their day coaching and leading their peers. TLI Teacher Leaders will receive high-quality professional development and a $2,500 stipend upon successful completion of the TLI program requirements. To learn more about this exciting initiative, click here.

How to Apply If you’re interested in applying to the TLI Teacher Leader position, please click here for job description and application steps. When prompted for experience, select the TLI Teacher Leader position from the dropdown menu and proceed to complete the Teacher application. Upon successful completion of this application, you will be asked to complete a content assessment for your primary subject area.

The LEAP Teacher Leader and Assistant Principal applications for the 2017-2018 school year open January 5, 2017. Please note that you must first complete the general teacher application to be considered for the position.

Click here to apply for Instructional Coach positions.

EMPOWERING MALES OF COLOR in DCPS is an aligned effort by the District of Columbia Public Schools to identify and assess current challenges and successes of PK – 12 Black and Latino males. We will collaborate with the community, as well as school & district leaders to implement effective strategies to enhance the student experience, increase achievement, and prepare our males of color for college, careers, and life beyond DCPS. 

Over the next three years, DCPS will dedicate $20 million to help our young men of color:

  • Increase in seat attendance
  • Increase enrollment in Advanced Placement courses
  • Improve graduation rates
  • Increase student satisfaction
  • Increase college acceptance and persistence; and
  • Prepare students for high-wage, high-growth careers.

ENGAGE our students, families, and the community in solutions that ensure the long-term success of our males of color.

  • MENTORS: Partner with Community-Based Organizations to provide literacy support and mentorship to males of color.
  • Launch a Student Task Force to ensure that the student voice is informing our work.
  • Establish a College Signing Day
  • Celebrate Successful Career Training
  • Collaborate with other District Government Agencies

IMPROVE and expand research-based strategies that are already underway within the district – with an emphasis on equity.

  • GRANTS: Award Funds to Schools with Promising Approaches to Improving Outcomes
  • Launch a Teacher Recruitment Task Force
  • Expand Alternatives to Suspensions
  • Expand Support for the 9th Grade Academies
  • Ensure that School Libraries and Classrooms Celebrate and Affirm Males of Color

INNOVATE and challenge our approach to problems and reflect on policies that have consistently made an impact on the academic achievement and development of our males of color.

  • HIGH SCHOOL: Open Ron Brown College Preparatory High School, a high school designed to support the academic and social-emotional development of male students
  • Invest in Early Childhood through the “Make Early Learning, Effective Learning Initiative” 

To find out more about the Empowering Males of Color initiative, please visit http://dcps.dc.gov/emoc.

Teach in DC, and go global.

DCPS is delighted to partner with the Peace Corps to introduce the DC Global Language Fellowship (DC GLC). This program connects Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) with demonstrated multi-lingual proficiency and global experience to DCPS World Language classrooms. RPCVs selected for the GLC are given an opportunity to continue to apply their developing teaching practice in a US context, and find a professional home in a District that places a high value on global competence.

  • To learn more about the DC GLC and eligibility requirements for participation, please click here.
  • To apply to the DC GLC, please click here.

DCPS has invested in world language programming in all schools, from early childhood level through advanced high school courses. DCPS world language instruction is aligned with national American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) World Readiness Standards, which seek to link culture and communication through language learning. DCPS has also partnered with ACTFL to provide students with a world-class curriculum that includes all modes of language learning: interpersonal, interpretive, and presentational. Schools offer at least one of the following seven world languages: American Sign Language, Arabic, Chinese, French, Italian, Latin, and Spanish.

Every student deserves a world of possibilities; that’s why DCPS developed a study abroad program. DCPS Study Abroad helps ensure that our global citizens have access to global experiences, so that travel becomes the expectation rather than the exception for our students. All 8th grade, 11th grade and Certificate 3 (C3) DCPS students who are studying a World Language are eligible for short-term study abroad programs on language immersion, global leadership, or service learning.

The Embassy Adoption Program exposes students to international perspectives and cross-cultural lessons. Through direct interactions with embassies and other global entities, fifth and sixth grade students attending DC Public Schools have the opportunity to learn about the language, customs, and history of their partner’s home country and culture. To date, more than 50,000 youth have partnered with over 100 embassies representing countries from around the world. The program has received various accolades, including the US Department of Education Award for Outstanding International Education Program.

To find out more about global education within DC Public Schools, please visit https://dcpsglobaled.org/. 

TEACHER APPLICATION RESOURCES

EDUCATIONAL AIDE APPLICATION RESOURCES

SEARCHING FOR AN APPLICATION?

  • If you are interested in starting a mid-year teacher application for the 2017-18 school year, please find it here.

           Note that mid-year applications do not rollover for next year. 

  • If you are interested in starting a principal application, please find it here. 
  • If you are interested in starting an educational aide application, please find it here. 
  • All other school-based applications can be found here. 
  • School security guard applications can be found here. 
  • Bus driver and attendant positions can be found through the Office of the State Superintendent of Education here. 

INTERESTED IN STUDENT TEACHING IN ONE OF OUR SCHOOLS? Student teachers must first find and confirm with a principal and teacher willing to host them. Then, complete the fingerprinting process at our Central Office (1200 First Street, NE). Learn more about fingerprinting here. 

INTERESTED IN LEARNING MORE ABOUT DCPS AND THE TEACHER APPLICATION PROCESS FROM THE RECRUITMENT TEAM? Watch our pre-recorded webinar here. 

INTERESTED IN OTHER SCHOOL-BASED POSITIONS? School-based, non-instructional positions (e.g., registrar, administrative aide, etc.) are handled on a school-by-school basis, and we do not have a centralized application for these positions. You would need to contact individual schools to inquire about openings in these areas. Please refer to our "School Profiles" page with more information and contact information on all of our schools. You can access that page here.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS 

  • Find additional information about fingerprinting and drug testing here. 
  • Find all licensure related questions here. 
  • Find answers to all fingerprinting questions here. 
  • Still want to know more about our Leadership Initiative for Teachers (LIFT)? Listen to our LIFT webinar here. 
  • Learn more about IMPACT here. 

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE A NOVICE TEACHER CANDIDATE? Teachers with 0 or 1 year full-time experience will complete the track for novice teachers. Full-time teaching experience does not include student-teaching, collegiate-level teaching, apprenticeships, substitute-teaching, or time spent in other training programs. Counting these experiences as "full-time teaching experiences" may cause a delay or disqualification of your application. 

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE AN EXPERIENCED TEACHER CANDIDATE? Teachers with two or more years of full-time teaching experience are considered experienced teachers and will complete the application track for experienced teachers. 

HOW CAN I UPLOAD ADDITIONAL DOCUMENTS TO MY APPLICATION? To upload additional documents to your application, you will need to visit our website at dcps.force.com. Login with your email and password and upload these documents there; feel free to upload your documents where it asks for your resume, as these attachments all go to the same place. 

WHAT IS THE FINGERPRINTING PROCESS? At this time, it is a DC law that all candidates must be fingerprinted at our DCPS Fingerprinting Office, and we cannot accept fingerprinting clearances from other entities. Although we understand that this is difficult for out-of-state candidates, we encourage all candidates to come to our central offices as soon as possible to complete this process, as you will not be able to accept a position with DC Public Schools until your fingerprints have been cleared. Before coming to our office, complete the fingerprinting application online here. 

DO I NEED AN APPOINTMENT TO GET FINGERPRINTED? No. For fingerprinting, you will be seen on a first-come basis. 

WHERE IS THE FINGERPRINTING OFFICE? Fingerprints are completed, free of charge, at the DCPS Central Office. Please visit 1200 First Street, NE; 10th Floor to complete this process. 

WHAT ARE THE HOURS OF FINGERPRINTING? 

Monday - Thursday: 8am - 5pm

Friday: 8am - 3pm

WHAT IS THE DRUG TESTING PROCESS? All teacher candidates are required to complete the mandatory pre-employment drug test within 15 days of receipt of notice of testing requirement, and your clearance is valid for one year. Once you are selected for hire, you will receive an email from the District of Columbia (donotreply@mroresultsonline.com) instructing you on how to schedule and complete your drug screening test. 

Your drug testing results are communicated from the medical facility to DCPS, typically within five (5) business days following the test date. Your employment file will be updated accordingly—it is not necessary for you to collect your drug testing results to provide to DCPS. Once we have evidence that you have cleared the background check and the drug test, you will receive notification regarding your status in the onboarding process. For more information about drug testing, please visit the DCPS Mandatory Alcohol and Drug Testing website or contact the DCPS MDAT team at dcps.mdat@dc.gov.  

“I was very impressed with the hiring process. This was the first time that a school system had ever asked me to demonstrate my skills as a teacher.”

The 2018-2019 teacher application is now open! Come Join Us. 

At DC Public Schools, we are excited to launch our teacher application for the 2018-19 school year. There are two application tracks for the teacher application. One track is for experienced teachers, and the other is for novice teachers.

Teachers with two or more years of full-time teaching experience with complete the application track for experienced teachers, and teachers with 0 or 1 year of full-time experience will complete the novice track. The processes for each group are outlined below:

Stage 1: Registration and Pre-Application Questions (both external and internal candidates)

  1. Candidates who have not registered will need to do so before applying.
  2. Complete the pre-application questions. Candidates will then be redirected to the Candidate Dashboard to complete the rest of the application. Note, candidates should return directly to the Candidate Dashboard website from this point forward.

Stage 2: Initial Application (through the Candidate Dashboard)

  1. Answer general employment questions, licensure and experience information, and subject area preferences.
  2. Complete two short-answer responses. See the resources tab within the Candidate Dashboard for tips on how to successfully complete the short-answer responses.

Stage 3: Phone Interview

  1. Candidates that pass Stage 2 will be asked to participate in a 30-minute phone interview with a member of the Teacher Selection team.
  2. Log in to the Candidate Dashboard and navigate to the “Phone Interview” tile to schedule the interview and read tips for how to prepare effectively.

Stage 4: Audition Video (required for some candidates)

  1. Before moving to the Teacher Recommended Pool, some candidates may be required to submit an Audition Video of their teaching. This is to ensure that our team has enough information to make strong and accurate hiring decisions. Click here to learn more about the Audition Video guidelines.
  2. Please note that all World Language candidates will be required to submit an Audition Video.

Stage 5: Teacher Recommended Pool

  1. Candidates that pass the screening process move to the Teacher Recommended Pool. Congratulations!
  2. As a TeachDC Recommended Candidate, you will be able to register for upcoming hiring fairs and view and apply to open positions at schools across the District.
  3. School Leaders screen candidates from within the Recommended Pool and may schedule a school-specific interview. 

INTERESTED IN POSITIONS FOR THE 2017-18 SCHOOL YEAR?

We are still accepting Mid-Year teacher applications for the 2017-18 SY. Click here to begin a teacher application for the current school year.

Please note: the selection process outlined above is subject to change. If you are experiencing technical difficulties, please contact the DCPS Teacher Recruitment and Selection team by email at teach.dcps@dc.gov.

See the below links for related information:

Teacher evaluation is nothing new or radical. In fact, schools and districts have a long history of evaluating teachers.  

However, in practice teacher evaluation plays out as one big irony. While the majority of teachers receive “satisfactory” evaluation ratings, an increasing number of schools are labeled “failures.”

There is something wrong with this reality. 

Education Pioneers Alumni Brian Pick (’07 DC Metro Area), Tim O’Brien (’08 DC Metro Area), and others at District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) are addressing this incongruity and working to improve teacher effectiveness through three coordinated and complementary DCPS initiatives, all launched this school year: the Teaching and Learning Framework, the IMPACT evaluation tool, and professional development for teachers and school staff that links to the framework and evaluation tool.

Pick, the Chief of Staff in the Office of the Chief Academic Officer at DCPS, works as the project lead for the Teaching and Learning Framework and strives to create synergy between the Framework, the IMPACT evaluation tool, and professional development.

“The exciting thing about IMPACT and the Teaching and Learning Framework is the alignment,” Pick said.

Alignment and cohesiveness between the three elements are part of the DCPS strategy to ensure that a highly effective teacher leads each classroom in the District.  Embedded within these smart innovations to teacher standards, evaluation, and professional development are components that position DCPS not only to measure teacher effectiveness more comprehensively but also to be a strong contender for the second round of the Race to the Top competition.

Framework clarifies standards for a ‘murky profession’

As they developed the Teaching and Learning Framework, the DCPS team set out to define expectations for teachers and school staff, to articulate what high-quality teaching looks like, and to identify what key behaviors and practices are essential to being an effective teacher.  While few could argue that the standards in the framework—to deliver content clearly, to check and respond to student understanding, and to engage students in learning, to name a few—are radical or unique, what does make the creation of the framework noteworthy is that, for the first time, DCPS has clarified expectations for school-based professionals.

“One of our goals was to provide common language to talk about the instructional core of what’s going on in the classroom,” Pick explained. 

The resulting DCPS Teaching and Learning Framework does not focus on a particular curriculum.  Nor does it revolve around an exciting new program. Instead, it describes a process, or approach, to teaching.

Each phase of the Framework’s cycle—plan, teach, and increase effectiveness—describes a series of behaviors to illustrate how this looks in the classroom.  Effective teachers, for example, develop annual student achievement goals and develop classroom procedures and routines.

“We’ve finally highlighted for teachers what skills they must have and clarified what is otherwise a very murky profession,” said O’Brien, a DCPS Professional Development Specialist, who worked intensively on the development and implementation of the Framework.

IMPACT evaluation tool embraces cutting-edge data practices

IMPACT, an evaluation tool, has dominated conversations in the policy and media worlds.  The new tool garners such attention because it incorporates value-added measures and ties student achievement data to job evaluations: innovative tactics that are not universally embraced. 

General education teachers at DCPS receive up to 50 percent of their IMPACT evaluation score based on value-added data, a quantitative measurement of a teacher’s impact on student achievement.  The rest of a teacher’s evaluation is based mainly on five classroom observations by principals and master teachers who judge teacher performance against the Teaching and Learning Framework rubric.

Through the value-added data and observation-based evidence, IMPACT “identifies our strongest performers, as well as teachers who need more support or who are not delivering for their students,” Pick explained.   The tool outlines clear performance expectations, offers feedback to teachers, and launches conversations and plans for continuous improvement of teaching practice.

The DCPS team meets regularly with teachers and principals to gather feedback on the new evaluation resources. And although most say that the content of the Framework and IMPACT evaluation tool is not widely controversial, there has been some initial uneasiness from teachers.

“Some argue that the new Framework and IMPACT are being used to flush people out,” O’Brien explained.  “That’s just not true.  The focus is to help teachers improve their practice, identify successful teachers, pinpoint why they are successful, and use that information to coach other teachers.”

While the IMPACT evaluation tool is certainly well-positioned to advance teacher effectiveness at DCPS, it will also help the district plan strategically for staffing.

“We can cut the data in an infinite number of ways,” said Jason Kamras, Director of Human Capital Strategy for Teachers at DCPS, in reference to how the school district can use IMPACT data to be more intentional in filling teacher positions.

Do the best teachers come from Teach for America, the DC Teaching Fellows program, or a more traditional pathway?  How do teachers from various schools of education fare? 

Kamras clarifies that “as we evaluate our recruitment pipeline, we want to assess which paths are bringing in the best teachers.”

A new approach to professional development

DCPS has invested heavily in teacher professional development in recent years. Since Michelle Rhee was appointed Chancellor in 2007, DCPS has increased professional development spending by 400 percent. 

But whereas many other districts often take a blanket approach and apply one professional development program or training across all schools, DCPS empowers principals to customize professional development based on what individual school data uncovers as their biggest areas of need for their teachers.

The IMPACT evaluation tool finds teachers who face instructional challenges or need particular areas of teacher growth and development. Then, people like O’Brien pool together the resources necessary to assist the teachers and principal at that school to address their professional development needs.  

Kamras’ vision for DCPS professional development builds on the foundation of the Teaching and Learning Framework and IMPACT evaluation tool and delivers some of the training in a nontraditional, innovative way.

“The interactive online resource will have student data, teacher data and professional development information—video clips of exemplary teachers showing what good practice looks like in each of the areas we measure, resources to match the highest performing teachers with those who are struggling to offer mentorship and assistance, social networking opportunities, and more,” Kamras explained. 

In concert with this, teachers will continue to receive feedback from principals and master educators not affiliated with the school, and the DCPS Central Office will maintain their agenda to support principals in developing as instructional leaders. 

The end goal according to Kamras is “that teachers not only have the most rigorous accountability system but also the most rigorous professional development and support.”

The suite of tools and resources—the Teaching and Learning Framework, the IMPACT evaluation tool, and the improved professional development—all in alignment with one another drives human capital reform efforts at DCPS. Led by Pick, O’Brien, Kamras and others, DCPS is well on its way to developing a best in class, coordinated model to advance teacher effectiveness. In tandem with this, IMPACT’s strong focus to link teacher evaluation to student achievement positions the District to be a strong contender for round two of the Race to the Top funding competition, which encourages states to design approaches to evaluate teachers that tie to student achievement results through the language of the initiative.

As DCPS staff reviews feedback from the more than seventy-five listening sessions they have held to date, data streams into the central office, IMPACT 2.0 and the Teaching and Learning Framework 2.0 take shape, and the U.S. Department of Education prepares to make Race to the Top round two decisions, DCPS and these programs are certainly ones to watch over the next several months.

-Whitney Metzger
DC Metro Area Program Associate