TAP allows teachers to pursue a variety of positions throughout their careers — career, mentor and master teacher — depending upon their interests, abilities and accomplishments. As teachers move up the ranks, their qualifications, roles and responsibilities increase — and so does their compensation. This allows good teachers to advance professionally without having to leave the classroom. It also creates expert teacher leaders within schools to provide support to other teachers.
Master and mentor teachers are chosen through a competitive, rigorous, performance-based selection process. Master and mentor teachers must have expert curricular knowledge, outstanding instructional skills and the ability to work effectively with other adults. They take on additional responsibilities and authority, and are required to have a longer work year. Master and mentor teachers are held to a different performance standard than the career teachers in their school, and are compensated accordingly.
Along with the principal, master and mentor teachers are part of the school’s TAP Leadership Team and are responsible for setting specific annual student learning goals. They oversee all TAP activities aimed at meeting these goals including extensive group and individual coaching and support. Masters and mentors, along with the principal, also conduct teacher evaluations that are tied to teacher performance awards. TAP provides training and certification services to prepare principals, masters and mentors to conduct professional growth activities and teacher evaluations effectively.