Working at COSLA

Professional Development at COSLA

We are delighted that you are interested in applying to our school!
We feel very fortunate to have a team of experienced educators at the COSLA who are as passionate about their own learning as they are about student learning. Continuing to attract and retain top-notch professionals at all levels is a major priority for COSLA.
COSLA’s approach to professional development involves a broad variety of opportunities for our staff to grow, reflect, share, and collaborate as professionals in an active learning community.


A Great Career Path for Teachers

Core to its efforts to recruit and retain great teachers, COSLA commits to instituting a multi-level career path for its instructional staff members. We designed this multi-level career path to promote growth everyday and over time. Each of our educators function at one of four levels:

  • Instructional Leaders: Instructional Leaders focus on instructional improvement. These individuals regulate, guide, and refine the performance of all teachers and the evolution of effective instructional practice at COSLA.
  • Teacher Leaders: Teacher Leaders are professional, experienced educators. COSLA identifies candidates on each grade level and on the specialty teaching team. COSLA’s educational community supports these individuals to increase their own leadership capacity and contribute to further developing programs at the school.
  • Teachers: Teachers are strong and committed educators who are working towards professional status as a grade-level team leader. They previously earned their bachelors degree, but most have earned their master’s, ED.S. and other higher-leveled degres.
  • Assistant Teachers: Assistant Teachers actively assist with student leaening and growth measures. They also receive feedback about their own practice. COSLA’s educational community closely monitors and supports these new professionals to encourage growth and movement toward Teacher status through a program of both teaching and observing.
  • We designed this multi-level career path to promote growth everyday and over time. Each of our educators function at one of four levels:

  • Instructional Leaders: Instructional Leaders focus on instructional improvement. These individuals regulate, guide, and refine the performance of all teachers and the evolution of effective instructional practice at COSLA.
  • Teacher Leaders: Teacher Leaders are professional, experienced educators. COSLA identifies candidates on each grade level and on the specialty teaching team. COSLA’s educational community supports these individuals to increase their own leadership capacity and contribute to further developing programs at the school.
  • Teachers: Teachers are strong and committed educators who are working towards professional status as a grade-level team leader. They previously earned their bachelors degree, but most have earned their master’s, ED.S. and other higher-leveled degres.
  • Assistant Teachers: Assistant Teachers actively assist with student learning and growth measures. They also receive feedback about their own practice. COSLA’s educational community closely monitors and supports these new professionals to encourage growth and movement toward Teacher status through a program of both teaching and observing.

  • The important thing is not so much that every child should be taught as that every child should be given the wish to learn.

    John Lubbock


    Embedding Professional Development in Practice

    Professional development at COSLA includes several unique aspects, in addition to the leveled support structure, that encourage great teaching and rigorous learning at the school.

    Data-Driven Instruction
  • Routinely reviewing, analyzing, and strategizing student assessment data in teams and as a school offers many opportunities for reflection and active discussion around instructional practice.
  • Internal Systems
  • Instructional leaders provide professional development support through routine observations of classroom instruction, written feedback on weekly lesson plans, and modeling exercises.
  • Instructional leaders also provide whole-group instruction on topics related to curriculum, instruction, and assessment to support the practice of teaching. These sessions take place during the first weeks of staff development in August, each week, duting PLCs, daily as needed, and on various other dates and times throughout the school year.

  • Teachers receive many opportunities to seek off-site professional development with the approval of the Executive Director. Frequently, teachers present the turnkey information gained through these experiences to their colleagues in order to increase significantly the impact on instructional practice across the school.

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