At Cadence, partner teachers from around the country hone their craft guided by expert mentors—watch their moves and make them their own.
The heart of our model is an intensive investment in professional development. Before the program launches, every participating teacher will benefit from a week-long
Institute that deeply prepares them in the specific pedagogies, curricula, and teaching methods. Then, twice each week, teachers will join their peers across the country in a
National Grade Team Meeting led by their mentor teacher.
The emphasis is not on academic procedures but rather meaning-making—preparing to incite students' curiosity. Looking ahead at the week's specific lessons, each session focuses on the two essential levers of great instruction:
intellectual preparation and
student work analysis.
In our program, teachers meet colleagues from across the country and are welcomed into a dynamic new community of educators.
In intellectual preparation, teachers have the time to go deep in the novels, texts, and mathematical problems they will be exploring with their students the next week.
They master the next week's text or math problem (and generate a love for it), anticipate student misconceptions, and develop the "roadmap of questions" that will guide students to making meaning, without taking away from them the intellectual work.
In student work analysis, teachers look closely at what their students are actually producing. Teachers ask themselves, what can the work tell me about my students' conceptions? And how should I adjust my course?
At Ascend Public Charter Schools, where these methods were deployed, student achievement soared. On the annual New York State assessments, students gained over four years 36 percentage points in English Language Arts proficiency and 40 points in math—the greatest gains in New York City.