LBUSD believes that the quality of the classroom teacher is central to the improvement of student achievement. The district believes that . . .
- High rates of student achievement are directly related to the quality of classroom instruction, regardless of the gender, ethnicity, primary language, or socio-economic status of the student.
- The quality of classroom instruction is dependent upon the content knowledge, pedagogical skills, and belief systems of the teacher.
- Teachers develop these characteristics through quality pre-service preparation programs, thorough induction processes, and ongoing professional development opportunities.
The latest research indicates that effective, empowered teaching happens by design. This occurs when highly committed, thoroughly prepared, continuously developed, and well networked teachers work individually and collectively to make effective decisions for student learning. To support this highly effective teacher, LBUSD and the State of California have clearly identified the skills and strategies needed to improve student achievement. The California Standards for the Teaching Profession establish that all teachers should have the following requisite skills and knowledge to:
- Engage and support all students in learning
- Understand and organize subject matter for student learning
- Create and maintain effective (and safe) environments for student learning
- Planning and designing learning experiences that promote student learning in diverse classrooms
- Student assessment
- Developing as a professional educator
To ensure that all teachers are able to effectively implement these ideals, LBUSD has designed an integrated and extensive professional development program that focuses on four main areas: certification/licensure, induction/retention, professional development, and accountability. A variety of programs and services are offered that support these objectives. All programs are designed with the use of scientifically-based research on high quality professional development, in accordance with the guidelines established by the National Staff Development Council. In accordance with these standards, high quality professional development is defined by the following criteria:
- Is determined by student and teacher needs
- Incorporates knowledge of content and teaching pedagogy
- Is closely linked to concrete classroom practice
- Involves opportunities for collaboration with colleagues
- Involves opportunities for observation, critique, and reflection
- Is embedded in the daily routine of teachers
- School leaders have the knowledge and skill set to support the implementation of new teaching content and pedagogy