Site Coordinator: Gayle Egloff, GAEGLOFF@aps.k12.co.us
UC Denver Site Professors: Nancy Sahling, email@example.com
Principal: Lynn Fair, firstname.lastname@example.org
Welcome to UC Denver's Teacher Education professional development school site at Aurora Central High School. At Aurora Central, everyone is a learner - students, faculty, classroom aides, support staff, and members of the Teacher Education program.
Your internship here will take you inside a culturally and linguistically diverse and comprehensive high school. This is an international school with students from all over the world. During the past ten years, the demographics of the school's neighborhood have changed, dramatically transforming a predominantly white, working-class neighborhood into an international community of residents from over fifty countries. The school has responded quickly to the learning needs of its new student body by instituting "cutting edge" literacy practices, intensive teacher professional learning, and an achievement plan with high standards for all students. It is an ideal laboratory for learning to teach and respond to the changing demographics of our times.
The school's agenda for student achievement and teacher professional learning is directed at developing literacy teaching competencies among all the faculty, across all the content areas. As the faculty learns from and with each other, the school builds teaching capacity in literacy instruction and culturally responsive teaching practices. Simultaneously, the teacher interns and university site professor develop their knowledge and competencies in teaching linguistically and culturally diverse learners. In this "reculturing school," you and the professional staff will speak in a common language of best instuctional practices.
Every Wednesday morning for over an hour, you will participate in one of five professional learning communities. As interns, you will join the conversation among teachers as they collaborate with each other about their craft. While a school-based teacher leader facilitates these sessions, she taps into the expertise of everyone in the room, including the Teacher Education interns who bring to the school the latest theory and research from their university courses.. Thus, everyone functions as a fellow "teacher educator," with colleagues teaching colleagues - subject-matter specialists, ELA and special educators, visiting literacy coaches, assistant principals; teacher interns, university site professor and coordinators. And every Wednesday over lunch, we will convene in a closely knit and supportive seminar that will focus on practical problems of practice.
Strategies for teaching diverse students are evident everywhere in the school. Teacher interns observe best practices in action - and they can practice them under the mentoring of a clinical teacher. In addition to working with a clinical teacher/mentor, interns learn from many additional venues: Their weekly learning community; guided classroom visitations of the school's "gurus" in literacy and sheltered instruction; their own classroom experiences, and weekly seminars with their peers and the Teacher Education team. Interns at Aurora Central receive an induction into the school as a workplace where dedicated educators can work together toward a common and pressing goal - improved learning and achievement among a diverse and often underserved student population.
Again, welcome to learning with all of us at Aurora Central!