Hood College and Frederick County Public Schools have partnered to offer the Vanguard Teacher Program, a leadership development program that aims to develop competency-based teacher leadership in public schools across the county.
The program focuses on four areas of teaching competencies: mindset, instructional technology, teaching practices, and professional learning and networking.
Mindset competencies include the core values or beliefs that guide a teacher’s thinking, behaviors, and actions, and which also help them shift toward new forms of teaching and learning.
Instructional technology skills help educators utilize technology to enrich their lessons. The goal is to transform learning experiences so they result in higher levels of achievement for students.
Teaching practice competencies are personal characteristics and patterns of behavior that help educators make the transition to new ways of teaching and learning. These qualities include integrating digital content, small group instruction, opportunities for student reflection and data-driven decision making.
Professional learning and networking skills are a more general set of skills that apply across roles and subject areas. These include collaboration and problem solving and are complex; they help practitioners tackle new tasks or develop solutions in situations that require organizational learning and innovation.
The Vanguard Teacher Program aims to develop competency-based, teacher leadership in public schools across the county. Vanguard Program candidates will be able to earn credits toward a related master’s degree in education at Hood while completing the program. Hood will provide up to nine graduate credits to participants who desire the graduate credits, provided they apply and are accepted to Hood College’s Graduate School as non-degree seeking students. Classes will take place in FCPS facilities.
Roger Stenersen, the Program Director of the Educational Leadership programs at Hood College, believes that the Vanguard Teacher Program constitutes an important addition to the FCPS-Hood partnership. Stenersen said, “This new dimension incentivizes teacher growth toward system-identified priorities by providing a pathway to teacher salary increases as well as the option for teachers to earn graduate credits which can be counted toward a master’s degree at Hood.”