Teacher Leadership and Compensation Grant: Coming soon

Teacher Leadership and Compensation Grant: Coming soon

by Taylor Burns

“Number one, bottom line, the main goal is to improve student learning,” Superintendent Brad Jermeland said. On Dec. 10, PCM teachers were informed that the district received the Teacher Leadership and Compensation grant of $328,000, approved by the Iowa Department of Education and the Commission on Educator Leadership and Compensation.
This project started three years ago, providing different opportunities for leadership positions within school districts across Iowa.
The goals for PCM’s Teacher Leadership Grant are to improve student achievement in the classroom and for teachers to improve their professional skills.
“The thought of this grant is that teachers can provide leadership to other teachers, which would help the student achievement and learning in the classroom,” Jermeland said.
The $328,000 will be used to create and provide for four teacher leadership roles: Instructional Coach, Model Teacher, Mentor Teacher and Technology Integration Specialist.
The Instructional Coach will spend 100-percent of his or her time not teaching, but working with teachers by providing instruction and classroom support, working with the collaboration between teachers and providing up-to-date resources. There will be three positions in this role: One in the high school, one in the middle school and one shared between the two elementary schools. They will be paid their regular teacher salary, but they’ll have some extended days, providing for an extra stipend of $10,000.
The Model Teacher will continue to teach all the time in the classroom. The purpose of this position is to best demonstrate a teacher’s role in a classroom. Model Teachers will open their classrooms to allow beginning and career teachers opportunities to observe best practice. There are eight total Model Teacher positions, two in each building. Model Teachers will receive their annual salary plus an extra $4,000.
A Mentor Teacher is a teacher who will also teach full time in the classroom, but this role was specially created  by the school district. Again, there are eight positions, two per building. They will receive an extra stipend of at least $4,000.
Last but not least, the Technology Integration Specialists will also continue to teach full time. They will support classroom teachers’ use of current technology to help student achievement in the Pre-K – 12 classroom. Each building with have two Specialists, and they will receive a $4,000 stipend.
Current teachers can apply for these positions through teachiowa.gov, but they must have taught in Iowa for three years, including one at PCM. Since current teachers will be moving up if they choose, the district will be looking for new teachers, first internally, then outside of PCM if needed.
“When I interviewed, it was something that was of interest to the teachers, administrators and the school board to want to apply to get and implement the grant to improve student learning and student achievement across the district,” Jermeland said. “If we wouldn’t have applied, we would’ve never had this opportunity.”
The Teacher Leadership and Compensation Grant will be put to action at the start of the 2016-17 school year.