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Developing a Portrait of an Educator in Rural Wyoming

Sheridan County School District 3 (SCSD3) in Clearmont, WY is a rural K-12 district with 96 students. To help the district develop a Portrait of an Educator, they hosted facilitators from the University of Wyoming (UW), who asked teachers a series of questions, including: 

  1. What do students need to be able to do when they graduate? 
  2. What do teachers need to be able to know and do to help students develop these skills in the classroom? 

After collecting data, teachers grouped to categorize responses to the questions to paint a portrait of an educator at SCSD3. Teacher responses focused heavily on tailoring their approach to curriculum to meet individual student needs while providing them with opportunities to grow. They also emphasized the importance of creating trusting, safe, positive relationships with students, maintaining clear communication, and improving their professional skills. 

SCSD3 teachers identified the following goals and abilities for their Portrait of an Educator: 

  • Model and cultivate learner-centered mindsets 
  • Design and implement learner-centered assessments 
  • Build learner-centered relationships and cultures 
  • Design and implement learner-centered instruction 
  • Sustain and cultivate wellness 
  • Collaborate, communicate, and create in a learner-centered system 
  • Champion learner-centered systems and communities 

By actively involving teachers in the process of developing their Portrait of an Educator, SCSD3 and the UW facilitators helped ensure buy-in by giving teachers a voice.