Maquoketa Valley is now in the third year of the Teacher Leadership and Compensation program in which teachers assume leadership roles and spend part of their day working with other teachers to improve student achievement. As coaches in these leadership roles, two days never look the same for us! Here’s a brief summary of what we do in our roles:

PK-5 MTSS (Tiersa Frasher)

My name is Tiersa Frasher, and I have been a member of the Maquoketa Valley team since 2003! I work half time as an Elementary Special Education teacher in Delhi and half time as the Elementary (PK-5) Multi-tiered System of Support (MTSS) coach for our district. I am kept very busy in this role collaborating with teachers and principals to set up appropriate response plans for students with academic or behavior concerns. The multi-tiered system of support refers to a three-layered support system simply referred to as Tier 1, Tier 2 and Tier 3. Tier 1 refers to universal instruction that is provided to ALL students every day. It includes the adopted curriculum of our district and is taught by our general education teachers. If students begin to struggle with skills at the Tier 1 level, a more targeted or strategic intervention may be needed to support learning difficulties. This is where a Tier 2 intervention could be developed for an individual or small groups of students. If a learning or behavior problem becomes more significant, an intensive individual student intervention plan is created at the Tier 3 level. My role as the MTSS Instructional Coach is to collaborate with teachers to implement student specific plans at the Tier 2 and Tier 3 level. I enjoy splitting my time among each of our three elementary centers and being a resource available to fulfill our district mission to respond to all student needs in a timely manner.

6-12 MTSS (Jackie Moorman)

As an educator at Maquoketa Valley since 2006, I spend my day working with middle school students who have IEPs and as the 6-12 MTSS Instructional Strategist. At the middle school level, we use our WIN time at the end of the day to provide systematic interventions to teach and practice academic skills in the areas of reading, writing, and math. Students are pre- assessed on specific content skills and then student groups are developed to work with the teacher on those skills. Students are progress monitored along the way, and for those students who continue to need additional practice, they are moved into a Tier 3 support where a more intensive practice is completed. Additionally, I provide two MTSS structured study halls, both at the middle school and high school level. During this time we continue to build organization, time management and advocacy skills that can be generalized to the students’ other classes. In both of my roles, I enjoy collaborating and problem-solving with teachers to find the most effective strategies to help our students be successful.

PK-12 Technology (Ali Scherrman)

I’m Ali Scherrman, and I’ve been working at Maquoketa Valley since 2006, and we have seen many changes in regards to technology just in my 11+ years here. My role as technology coach is to help both teachers and students learn new technology. The goal is for the technology that we use to impact student achievement by making students think in a different way or produce a product they wouldn’t be able to do without the technology with an overall goal of the 4 Cs: creativity, communication, collaboration, and critical thinking. With the ever changing technology in our society today, there is a constant need for learning and adapting with new technology, and Maquoketa Valley teachers are brave in their ability to try new technology because we all know that sometimes technology just doesn’t like to cooperate. But with our students’ capabilities to help the teachers problem-solve, Maquoketa Valley teachers are willing to try a lot of new technology.

One of the other projects as Technology Coach that I’m working on now is to help put Maquoketa Valley on the map in the social media world. A Facebook page titled Maquoketa Valley Community School District has been created for staff members to post pictures, videos, and reminders. Our goal is to share what is happening at Maquoketa Valley with parents, family, and friends. Feel free to tag yourself so other family members can see your student. We want to make sure that this is a positive Facebook page, so if a problem arises, please contact the school directly. Maquoketa Valley also has a Twitter account, so if you’re on Twitter, our handle is @MaquoketaValley.

6-12 Universal Instruction (Diane Temple)

My goal as a universal instruction coach is to improve student achievement by helping teachers in various ways: planning, teaching, assessing, and managing the classroom. MV is blessed with thoughtful, hard-working teachers who truly care about their students’ academic achievements and personal growth. I work with reflective teachers who continually look at what they want students to do, what students do, and what teachers and students need to do next to improve. These teachers realize that collaborating with someone while reflecting leads to better teaching and student success. I have helped teachers with creating strong unit plans, by modeling teaching techniques, by finding or creating quality resources, with goal-setting and follow-up, and with problem-solving.

Authentic Intellectual Work (Jackie Moorman, Jennifer Ries, Christina Rudd, and Diane Temple)

We lead weekly learning opportunities for middle school and high school teachers. Teachers share various tasks, student work samples, or videos of their instruction and receive feedback about relevance, rigor, and evidence of learning. As AIW coaches, we also facilitate professional learning opportunities for our peers. This year our focus is on questioning skills and student conversations.

As coaches, we continue to receive feedback from teachers and evidence from student work to measure our effectiveness in improving student achievement. We can all agree that by working with other talented teachers we have improved our instructional practices.