FAQs for the Consulting Teacher Team

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.

Questions and Answers

What is the official Consulting Teachers' job description?

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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Who are the Consulting Teachers?

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.

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How is it different from the Staff Development Teacher and the Mentor?

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.

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What are example responsibilities and duties of a Consulting Teacher?

Under the direction of the PAR Panel, the Consulting Teacher will serve the needs of assigned teachers by:

  • Observing and conferring with each underperforming teacher determined to be “below standard” in the teacher evaluation process.
  • Planning and implementing an intensive program of intervention for the teacher identified as “below standard” to include multiple observations, ongoing communication with the teacher, conferring with the principal, assisting the teacher in analyzing student results, and demonstrating lessons.
  • Preparing and submitting to the PAR panel interim and final end-of-year reports regarding future employment for each teacher on their caseload.
  • Assisting new first-year teachers assigned to their caseload through observations, feedback, analysis of student results, demonstration lessons, curriculum implementation, team teaching and instructional best practices.
  • Working with teachers on assigned caseload to build a knowledge base and repertoire of teaching skills to improve student achievement, and in acquiring and applying new skills and abilities.
  • Planning and conducting demonstration lessons and modeling effective teaching and management strategies in the classroom.
  • Assisting teachers on assigned caseload in analyzing data to determine implications for instruction.
  • Reviewing principal’s formal evaluation and observations to plan and implement intervention strategies.
  • Participating in planning and delivering summer new teacher training. This position will have 20 summer days during which training, working with PAR Cases and the PAR panel will occur. These days will most likely be scheduled during the months of June, July and August. Candidates for the position must be available for scheduled training and PAR activities. Consulting teachers are released full-time from their normal teaching duties for a period of three years. The teacher must then return to a classroom teaching position for a minimum of two years. Returning classroom teachers will be returned to their original location, if an appropriate vacancy exits. Consulting teachers who previously held RT/IRT positions will return to a comparable position as vacancies occur anywhere in MCPS.

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What knowledge and abilities should a Consulting Teacher have?

Knowledge, Abilities and Skills:

  • Ability to demonstrate best practices in a variety of teaching methods and to model a repertoire of teaching skills.
  • Knowledge of best practices in instructional strategies for the improvement of classroom instruction.
  • Demonstrated ability to analyze student results and achievement data and to implement appropriate strategies to meet student needs.
  • Excellent communications, interpersonal and leadership skills.
  • Ability to model teaching behavior to adult learners in a variety of settings.
  • Ability to counsel and mentor adults in need of assistance, both personally and professionally.

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What education, training and experience should a Consulting Teacher have?

  • Bachelor’s degree in education, training, subject field, curriculum or related field-master’s degree preferred with eligibility for Maryland State teaching certification.
  • Minimum five year of successful teaching experience.
  • Experience in modeling teaching behavior to adult learners in a variety of settings (e.g., workshops, seminars, courses, etc.)
  • Evidence of instructional leadership (e.g. team leader, resource teacher, interdisciplinary resource teacher, department chair, Quality Management Council member, system wide committees, etc.)
  • Experience preferred in conflict resolution, mentoring, counseling or working with adults in providing professional and personal support.

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What Certificate and License Requirements are in place for Consulting Teachers?

Certification (or eligibility) as teacher in the State of Maryland.

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What is the caseload of a Consulting Teacher?

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.

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What are the writing responsibilities of the Consulting Teacher?

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.

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What happens to the reports the Consulting Teacher writes?

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.)

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How long does a Consulting Teacher work with a teacher?

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.

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Who supervises the Consulting Teachers?

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.

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Where are Consulting Teachers located?

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.

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Whom can I contact if I have further questions?

The Consulting Teachers are lead by two Co-Leads. Consult the webpage for information on the leads and currents CTs.

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How do I apply to be a Consulting Teacher?

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.

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