Peer Assisted and Review (PAR) is an individualized support system for experienced, tenured teachers in the Murrieta Valley Unified School District.
A major component of the District's Peer Assisted Review Program is intensive, individual support for experienced teachers. Veteran teachers who volunteer to participate develop a strong supportive relationship with their coach, the consulting teacher, which is fundamental to the success of all support strategies. Reasons for voluntary participation include, but are not limited to: change of grade level/subject matter; classroom management support; working with diverse learners; and engaging and supporting all students in learning.
Experienced teachers participate in PAR either on a volunteer or referred basis. All aspects of volunteer participation are confidential.
Referred teachers enter the program as a result of the formal evaluation process and the evaluator continues as an active member of the team assisting and reviewing the growth of the participant.
The role of the consulting teacher is that of a coach. They work with PAR participating teachers in and out of the classroom meeting during and after school hours. During this time, the consulting teacher observes and coaches, assists with short and long-term planning, designs classroom management strategies, teaches demonstration lessons, provides curriculum resources, and guides the teacher in reflecting on their practice, self-assessing, and goal-setting.
Significance of the Program
Research shows that with intensive support, teachers demonstrate higher levels of professional development and greater competence in working with diverse students. In addition, studies report increased job satisfaction and longevity in the teaching profession.
The District's Peer Assistance and Review Program of integrated support, self-assessment and confidentiality creates an atmosphere that encourages teachers to develop excellence in classroom instruction and to deepen their understanding of academic content. This process of formative, ongoing growth within a community of learners is an essential component of teacher development and school reform.
The support offered is specific to each teacher's context. Participating teachers are provided sanctioned time and structured opportunities to work with consulting teachers who build on a teacher's prior knowledge and validate his/her experiences.
Release time opportunities are offered during the year for reflection, classroom observations, curriculum planning and staff development, based on availability and approval of program funds.
For more information, please review the PAR Joint Committee Rules and Procedures.
National Board Certification
Peer Assistance and Review also includes support for teachers who wish to pursue National Board Certification based on availability and approval of program funds. This year long process requires building a portfolio of evidence based on planning, teaching, and reflecting on outcomes and student success. The NBCT application culminates in an on-line assessment of teaching skills.
Based on available funds the Peer Assistance program provides MVUSD teachers access to additional resources, designed to support their professional growth related to their academic field/teaching practices. These resources may include:
Conferences designed to increase teaching skill and/or academic expertise
Release time to observe colleagues teach
Conference funding for those who desire to increase their professional expertise and commit to sharing the gained knowledge with students and peers
Overarching Program Goals
To meet the individual needs of experienced teachers
To promote teacher autonomy and provide resources which enhance instructional programs and expand training opportunities
To encourage on-going reflection, self-assessment and professional growth
To promote professional development in a non-judgmental atmosphere
To provide a program in which the advancement of skills and knowledge of teaching continues and is supported beyond the first years of teaching
How to Apply
To request voluntary PAR support and/or National Board Certification support, please contact the program secretary, Erica Franklin for appropriate forms. Once completed forms are received they will go to the PAR Joint Committee (on an anonymous basis for voluntary PAR) for approval. An email notification will then be sent by the program secretary advising of the committee's decision. For further information please feel free to contact any of the seven PAR Joint Committee members or the program facilitators Sean McCarthy and Sue Hall.