Aspire Program Celebrates Hill Faculty
In 2014, a substantial gift to the School from Preston G. Athey ’67, Chair of the Board of Trustees, and his wife, Nancy, enabled the creation of Aspire, a tiered faculty compensation model at The Hill. The Aspire program enables teachers to build their expertise and tenure as they rise through the ranks of Fellow, Instructor, Athey Family Master, and Senior Master. Faculty may apply for promotion to a higher tier.
How can effective teaching be identified, developed, and rewarded? How can The Hill become a destination place of employment? How might we create a compensation system that is aspirational in paving a career path where teachers are remunerated at a level that allows for a high standard of living?
The Hill School’s Aspire Program for Faculty Growth combines a robust system of feedback to support faculty growth with a tiered compensation to reward great teaching.
The foundations of great teaching are complex and varied. Great teaching is, rightly so, often characterized as an art. In addition, while some teachers often seem to have the instincts, the passion, or the temperament for teaching, many of the methods and skills that go into great teaching have been scientifically tested and validated. The Hill’s Faculty Compensation Model encourages its teachers to reflect critically on their professional practices and measure those practices against the aspects of teaching that have been shown to be strong measures of effective practice.
Additionally, The Hill has always had a loyal and long-serving faculty and wants to reward those that devote their careers to the school. While long-time service itself is not the sole factor in promotions, it does carry significant weight in this process.
Hill’s promotion process is portfolio-based; a recognition of just how complex and varied is the nature of teaching and learning. This program guides those who are applying for promotion through a framework of faculty evaluation that honors that complexity and is supported by the most current social science and best practices.
Reflective Practice and Professional Growth: Teachers should engage in continuous reflection and professional growth throughout their careers.
Disciplinary Knowledge: Strong disciplinary knowledge and an understanding of how one’s discipline is organized, created (methods of inquiry) and validated (rules of evidence).
Instructional Strategies: Effective teachers use a variety of instructional methods to engage a wide range of students in learning.
Learning Environment: Creating a classroom environment and modelling certain behaviors conducive to student learning are crucial skills for effective teaching.
Assessment of Student Learning: Good teachers effectively assess students to see that they are learning important skills, knowledge, and dispositions that are enduring. They provide them with helpful feedback and plan and modify course design to instruct effectively.
Colleagueship and Professionalism: Teachers need to interact professionally with a wide variety of constituents: colleagues, students, parents, staff, and community members. They also need to meet professional obligations, contribute to the school as a community, help in the direction of larger school initiatives, and adopt a growth-mindset about their own contributions to the school.
Co-Curricular and Student Life: As a boarding school, we value the teaching that takes place outside of the classroom, as coaches, program directors and in the dormitories. Great teachers see teachable moments and opportunities in all of these spheres and want to take advantage of the greater exposure that we have to our students.
The Hill School's Tiered Faculty System:
20+ Years of Teaching Experience
10+ Years at The Hill
ATHEY FAMILY MASTER
12+ Years of Teaching Experience
2+ Years at The Hill
3+ Years of Teaching Experience
Up to 3 Years of Teaching Experience at The Hill