Relay coursework is based on four elements of effective teaching. Taken together, these four elements represent the set of knowledge, skills, and mindsets often found in teachers who foster profound academic and socioemotional growth in their PK–12 students. During their time at Relay, students will complete coursework focused on each of these elements, as well as coursework in which they learn how to measure their PK–12 students’ growth and achievement. Each course combines theory and practice related to these areas and culminates in performance assessments, providing students the opportunity to demonstrate mastery of content and to reflect on their PK–12 students’ growth and achievement. The four elements, as well as student growth and achievement, are each briefly described below:
Self and Other People
Teachers need to be aware of themselves as professionals and to reflect on their ability to reach their PK–12 students. Teachers must also be mindful of whom their PK–12 students are as individuals and of the communities that shape their PK–12 students’ lives. The self and other people coursework provides students with the knowledge and tools to make these connections to themselves, their PK–12 students, and their PK–12 students’ families. The coursework focuses on personal growth and reflection, understanding and working with families and communities, and supporting socioemotional development through responsive practices.
In classroom-culture coursework, students learn about the countless tangible and intangible details that combine to create an environment wherein PK–12 students are joyfully engaged and feel ownership of their individual and collective successes. Students learn how to build relationships with their students, establish classroom norms, and utilize culturally responsive practices to engage students in learning. Classroom-culture coursework prepares teachers to support PK–12 students’ sense of belonging, socioemotional development, and academic success.
Teaching-cycle coursework addresses the knowledge and skills a teacher needs for instructional planning, instructional delivery, and assessment. Students plan for a year, a unit, and a lesson. They learn how to reach every student while delivering their lessons, as well as how to use assessment to confirm that every student has learned and to shape the learning that will come next.
In content-methods coursework, students learn effective, content-specific pedagogical practices and strategies for the subjects and/or grade levels that they teach. Additionally, Relay believes that all teachers are reading and writing teachers. To that end, all Relay students are equipped with the knowledge and skills necessary to diagnose and address the reading and writing abilities of all PK–12 students, regardless of the content being taught. Furthermore, students learn strategies for teaching students of varying needs and strengths.
Student Growth and Achievement (SGA)
As part of SGA coursework, students will learn how to measure PK–12 students’ outcomes through the Relay Pathway to Student Achievement. To measure PK–12 students’ academic and socioemotional outcomes, students will learn how to determine the content they want to measure and solidify assessment plans aligned to that content. They will also learn how to set ambitious goals, measure student progress, and verify outcomes at the end of the academic year.