Beyond Effectiveness, Skinner Pursues Teacher Effectiveness

If you’ve read the newspaper recently, you inevitably came across an article that discusses the issue of teacher effectiveness. While there is a lot of debate about what teacher effectiveness means, Skinner is a shining example of what commitment to excellence in teaching looks like through its ongoing commitment to the ongoing education and professional development of its teaching staff.

Teachers meet weekly and spend 10 days a school year discussing what happens in their classrooms, learning from each other, and analyzing student work to learn what works and what skill-sets need to be addressed. In addition, Skinner has spent additional funds to bring in outside staff developers to keep teachers up-to-date with research-based best practices.

Staff developers not only assist individual academic departments with content specific development, but they also help teachers develop practices to ensure success in other content areas. This year teachers and staff developers are focusing on persuasive writing and how they can infuse writing across all subject areas taught at Skinner.

One of Skinner’s staff developers is Annie Patterson. Annie has worked at Skinner for 7 years. She has been a staff developer for 10 years and was a classroom teacher for 13 years before that. Annie works for the Public Education & Business Coalition (, a nonprofit partnership of Colorado education and business leaders dedicated to developing the intellectual and scholarly practices of educators.

Annie is the 2012 winner of the O’Rourke Prize Recognition for Outstanding Staff Development Professionals. The O’Rourke Prize is sponsored by Learning Forward Colorado and Mrs. Anne O’Rourke and honors an exemplary staff developer in the state of Colorado. Click for more information –

Annie noted that, “[t]he teachers at Skinner are incredibly reflective, dedicated to student achievement, furthering their own teaching practices, and what works the best in teaching their kids. It’s an honor to help them achieve their goals.”

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