|Who We Serve|
|Why Summer Matters|
|Teaching & Learning|
Teaching & Learning is one of the key components of our work and focuses on improving outcomes for students by refining the summer school curriculum and strengthening training and support for teachers. Over the past 26 years, Aim High has continually refined the support and resources we provide for our 400+ teachers, including:
- Curriculum pilots with in-classroom coaching in math, career & college awareness, and environmental education
- Improved database of curriculum resources
- Faculty Week: four days of planning and a full day of professional development for all Aim High staff
- Preview Week workshops introducing Aim High teaching model and curriculum
- Improved tools and collaborative training for Site Directors to support classroom instruction
About Aim High Curriculum Pilots: Since the early days of Aim High, teachers have collaborated with the faculty leadership at their sites to create 5-week curriculum plans aligned with state standards and based on engaging projects that teach students critical academic skills and knowledge. Beginning in 2009 and 2010, Aim High has supplemented teachers' curriculum plans with rigorous yet flexible curriculum supported by in-classroom coaching in math and career & college awareness. Additionally, a 9th grade curriculum designed around environmental science was created to dovetail with students' week-long experience at the Headlands Environmental Home program. Initial results from pre-and post-testing in math indicate that students achieve gains in math skills over their 5 weeks at Aim High.
About Faculty Week and PD Day: In June, all Aim High faculty and staff attend a one-week Faculty Institute before the summer program began. During that week, faculty members attend one day of training off-site together with Aim High faculty from other sites. They participate in a full day of workshops designed specifically for their teaching experience and subject area expertise. Special emphasis is placed on planning and implementing high quality hands-on projects. The remainder of the week is spent developing lessons plans and preparing activities, planning assemblies and Cultural Days, and building strong community among the staff.
About the Aim High teaching experience: Aim High provides opportunities for professional development and collaboration among teachers, serving as a "teaching laboratory" for both veteran and novice teachers. Beginning in Faculty Institute week and continuing throughout the summer, all faculty - including Site Directors, Lead Teachers, Interns and Teaching Assistants - plan collaboratively during daily prep periods and weekly staff meetings. All faculty members participated in Peer Observations, practicing giving and receiving feedback on their teaching, and are observed and coached by Site Directors. 86% of professional educators who teach at Aim High report that the experience helped advance their personal and professional growth. Teacher diversity benefits the Aim High classroom, which brings together veteran and novice teachers; adult and teen role models; Aim High grads and "newbies;" educators from public, private, charter, parochial and after-school contexts; and an incredible spectrum of languages, cultures, interests and skills.
About Aim High teachers: Aim High is committed to recruiting a diverse and talented cadre of teachers. Aim High hires teachers who closely reflect the student population served by the organization. Of the 440 faculty members and volunteers who worked at Aim High last summer, 69% were teachers of color and 52% were bilingual. Learn more about our teachers on our 2012 Fact Sheet.
About the Aim High teacher pipeline: Aim High provides critical teaching opportunities for young teachers and young leaders interested in entering the field of education. Many of our high school-aged Teaching Assistants and college-aged Teaching Interns express that Aim High inspired them to go into teaching; 67% of Interns and TAs report that they are considering degrees or careers in education because of their experience with Aim High. Furthermore, many TAs and Interns are from the communities we serve. 54% of TAs and Interns at legacy sites* are themselves Aim High graduates. (*excludes sites founded in the last 4 years, whose graduates are not yet old enough to return as teachers.) Read about some of our alumni teachers at our Success Stories page.
To learn more about Teaching and Learning initiatives at Aim High, contact Michelle Capobres, Director of Academics and Evaluation, at firstname.lastname@example.org.