Many charter schools are so small that teachers have to seek opportunities beyond their own campuses in order to observe a colleague in the same content area. Additionally, university education programs require pre-service teachers to observe in a wide variety of schools and classrooms prior to student teaching and licensure. Because of Peak to Peak’s national reputation for excellence, the school regularly receives requests for classroom observations. In response, the Center for Professional Development offers classroom observation opportunities to guest educators interested in spending time on Peak to Peak’s campus. Customized schedules built for each visiting teacher allow them to see a variety of different teaching styles, content areas, and grade levels in a single observation visit. In addition to individual classroom teachers or university pre-service teachers, Peak to Peak has hosted cohorts of guest educators from Teach for America, Get Smart Schools, the Colorado Department of Education’s Administrator Mentoring Cohort, a delegation of educators from China, a delegation of educators from Tajikistan, and faculty and administrators from numerous charter schools around Colorado.
To date, Peak to Peak has welcomed close to 1000 guest educators since the school began tracking these numbers in 2008. By hosting these guest educators in their classrooms, Peak to Peak teachers repeatedly demonstrate their willingness to share best practices and model Peak to Peak’s standards for instructional excellence.