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What is the Teacher Career Pathway?



At IDEA Public Schools, we know student success starts, first and foremost, with an expert educator in the classroom. That’s why we’ve created the Teacher Career Pathway. 

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The Teacher Career Pathway is a differentiated reward, recognition, and retention program for teachers at IDEA Public Schools. The Teacher Career Pathway (TCP) program synthesizes multiple components of a teacher’s performance in order to place him or her on a five-tier pathway. Each level on this pathway has its own set of supports, rewards, and recognitions, with Master Teacher being the ultimate goal. The program was developed as a result of extensive research, two years of piloting, and feedback from IDEA’s Teacher Advisory Council. Now in its fourth year, the TCP continues to evolve, thanks to the candid and thoughtful feedback of IDEA teachers.

For teachers, the Teacher Career Pathway means that it is possible to choose to continue teaching without sacrificing the opportunities usually associated with a move out of the classroom. Like those who advance their careers in other fields, teachers who move up on TCP enjoy higher pay and opportunities to drive their own development. They experience recognition for their results and receive support to continue their impact by teaching.

The Teacher Career Pathway and its accompanying rubrics, evaluation criteria, and reward system are inspired by similar programs from various charter networks across the country. However, IDEA’s Teacher Career Pathway has some unique features:

·         Transparent, published rubrics for student achievement metrics

·         Full inclusion of elective teachers and teachers of courses without state tests

·         Retention bonuses that build over time for High-Performing, Advanced, and Master Teachers

IDEA teachers are motivated to stay in the classroom for many reasons, including the Teacher Career Pathway reward system. By offering a “menu” of incentive options, the Teacher Career Pathway avoids being a one-size-fits-all reward program. In this way, each individual teacher can more effectively be recognized. The menu of incentives is built around four factors found to be primary motivators for encouraging teachers to stay in the classroom. These motivators are:

1.       Influence

2.       Differentiated professional growth

3.       Public recognition

4.       Compensation

Teacher Testimony

“Being a Master Teacher at IDEA is more than just a title, it's recognition of the hard work and dedication to your students and the love of learning.  I am honored to say I am a Master Teacher at IDEA and this means the world to me because Master Teachers always maintain high expectations of both themselves and their students.  I love teaching because as teachers and parents, we have the power to make our children believe they can change the world. This I trust, is my calling!”

-Diana Naranjo, Master Teacher

IDEA Academy San Benito

“Teaching, for me, is who I am. I can’t imagine myself doing anything different. It is the most difficult job I have ever done, but seeing that literal “light bulb” moment in my students is why I teach. It is an absolute honor to receive the distinction of Master Teacher at Idea Public Schools. It means that the hard work and dedication of my students and I have not gone unnoticed. That recognition for a job well done helps me to want to grow and push myself and my students to achieve greater results.”

-Shelley Pridgen

IDEA College Prep North Mission

Start on the road to becoming a Master Teacher at IDEA today.  Join us on the journey to College For All.  

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