Cotsen Art of Teaching
The Cotsen Art of teaching program has as its mission powerful professional growth and development. Each participating school is given a grant which provides the opportunity for one of its teachers to work as a mentor who acts as a change agent coaching individual Cotsen fellows in classrooms weekly. Fellows have numerous opportunities to observe expert teachers and attend professional development that help them gain new vision and inspiration.
Working with their mentor, they set goals to grow in content knowledge and in pedagogy. The Cotsen fellows set goals in an area of strength, videotape themselves, reflect on what they see, attend conferences to learn even more, and participate monthly in an inquiry group with colleagues to study teaching more deeply. The school makes a two year commitment to the program. Cotsen has as one of its goals for the practices that the mentor and fellows embrace to spread to other teachers in the school.
Because of Coeur d’Alene’s success in achieving this goal, we went through two rounds of fellowships, reaching 10 teachers who had the honor of engaging in the program with the school’s mentor. Now that we have completed both rounds, our fellows and mentor will continue to deepen their practice and have numerous opportunities for grants and professional development. We have also been designated one of their demonstration sites and have been recognized as a school that has created a robust sustainability model. Principal Jenkins recently spoke at a conference during which he shared what has helped propel our school as one that is exemplary.