Department of Professional Growth Systems → Professional Growth System for Teachers → Frequently Asked Questions
The role of the Consulting Teacher is complementary and not duplicative of the role of administrators, secondary resource teachers, nor other existing positions. Consulting Teachers are experienced MCPS teachers who are selected by the PAR panel. They are chosen through a rigorous application process that ensures they are outstanding teachers and are able to communicate their knowledge and strategies about best practices to adult learners. This FAQ answers specific questions about the Consulting Teacher program.
What is the official Consulting Teachers' job description?
Who are the Consulting Teachers?
How is it different from the Staff Development Teacher and the Mentor?
What are example responsibilities and duties of a Consulting Teacher?
What knowledge and abilities should a Consulting Teacher have?
What education, training and experience should a Consulting Teacher have?
What Certificate and License Requirements are in place for Consulting Teachers?
What is the caseload of a Consulting Teacher?
What are the writing responsibilities of the Consulting Teacher?
What happens to the reports the Consulting Teacher writes?
How long does a Consulting Teacher work with a teacher?
Who supervises the Consulting Teachers?
Where are Consulting Teachers located?
Whom can I contact if I have further questions?
How do I apply to be a Consulting Teacher?
The Consulting Teacher will provide assistance to two Categories of MCPS teachers: new teachers and those teachers who have been identified as below standard or underperforming. Consulting Teachers will observe classroom performance and will provide feedback to teachers assigned to their caseload, will build the teacher’s knowledge base and repertoire of teaching skills, and will support the teacher’s efforts for improved student achievement. The Consulting Teacher will work under the direction of the Peer Assistance and Review Panel, and will collaborate with the principal and other local school staff to provide maximum assistance to assigned teachers. The Consulting Teacher will be responsible for preparing and submitting to the PAR panel summary documentation regarding future employment status for each teacher on their caseload.
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There are 28 Consulting Teachers (CTs) working with novice (new to MCPS and new to teaching) and underperforming teachers (teachers who have been identified as below standard) in all MCPS schools. A Consulting Teacher is a master teacher who provides assistance in a variety of ways. Consulting Teachers might help plan lessons, deliver a model lesson, develop management skills, arrange a peer observation visit or address any other issues related to professional growth. This is a rotating position involving a 5-year commitment: 3 years as a Consulting Teacher and 2 years back in a school based non-administrative position. Consulting Teachers also have 20 SSE days in the summer for orientation and training.
Consulting Teachers are visiting teachers, not a part of the school staff. Through their observations, they are able to provide specific feedback for improvement to instruction. The observations follow the model taught in Observing and Analyzing Teaching (OAT) 1 and 2 classes. Consulting Teachers must complete these classes. Based on the support and observation data, a Consulting Teacher makes a recommendation to the Peer Assistance and Review (PAR) Panel for a teacher as either “meets standard” or “below standard.” The PAR Panel makes the decisions regarding a teacher’s continued employment with MCPS. Consulting Teachers work in coordination with the school support team in order to design the best instructional support program for a teacher.
Under the direction of the PAR Panel, the Consulting Teacher will serve the needs of assigned teachers by:
Knowledge, Abilities and Skills:
Certification (or eligibility) as teacher in the State of Maryland.
Although caseloads vary, it is typical for a CT to have 18 to 20 teachers on his/her caseload. The assignment of teachers depends on grade level/content area and geographic location. The time spent with each teacher will depend on the needs of the teacher and the availability of resources in the school. Most of the teachers on the caseload are first year novice teachers.
A Consulting Teacher formally observes each teacher at least two times during the year and writes a follow-up report after each observation. In addition to the observations, a mid-year summary and end-of-year summative report are also prepared and reviewed by the PAR Panel. Consulting Teachers are also required to keep logs of visits and support for each teacher and other notes as needed for documentation.
Written reports are shared with the teacher, school administration, and the PAR Panel. This documentation is used to inform decisions on the teacher’s instructional progress and employment status. The teacher may share his/her observation reports with other staff (mentor, staff development teacher, RT, etc.)
Usually a Consulting Teacher is assigned to a teacher for one school year. In some cases, assignments may be extended to a second year by the PAR Panel.
The Peer Assistance and Review (PAR) Panel is the official supervisor of the Consulting Teachers. This panel, made up of 8 teachers and 8 administrators, facilitates the Professional Growth System’s work Each Consulting Teacher is assigned to a PAR pair (one teacher and one administrator). This pair is responsible for the Consulting Teachers’ support, guidance and evaluation. Every Consulting Teacher is evaluated in his/her first year in the position.
The Consulting Teacher Team is officially part of the Office of Human Resources and Development (OHRD), under the Associate Superintendent, Lance Dempsey. Consulting Teachers are required to take part in monthly meetings with the PAR Panel and the Consulting Teacher Team.
Working under direction of the PAR Panel and the Associate Superintendent of OHRD, the Co-Leads of the Consulting Teacher Team directly coordinate the work of the CTs.
The Consulting Teachers are based in the Office of Human Resources and Development at 45 W. Gude Drive. But most of the Consulting Teachers’ time is spent in schools. They receive mileage reimbursement for travel between schools at the MCPS mileage rate. Consulting Teachers must submit weekly schedules to account for their time and to facilitate contact with them when needed.
The Consulting Teachers are lead by two Co-Leads. Consult the webpage for information on the leads and currents CTs.
The Consulting Teacher recruitment process normally begins around December of each school year. The positions are advertised in the MCPS Careers page. Information regarding the application process, including dates for informational meetings, is posted on the CT webpage.