A Teacher-Created Tier 1 Professional Development Program Helps Teachers to Support Diverse Students


A Cheyenne student working in a classroom environment

Raymond S., Staff Writer

Cheyenne High School teachers have been engaged in a teacher-created professional development opportunity to master strategies that support all students’ academic success.


The Cheyenne High School Tier 1 Professional Development Program aims to promote better teaching strategies for teachers to implement with students. Some strategies teachers learn are how to effectively use learning objectives to drive instruction, switching up class activities frequently to keep students engaged, and providing extra learning resources for students who need them.


Grace Bayer, an English teacher at Cheyenne, elaborated on how the program helps improve classroom learning. “T1 Professional Development helps teachers get every single student engaged. Basically we build on things, so we increase the rigor. We make lessons more rigorous.”


The main goal of Tier 1 instruction is to help all students engage with the class content.


Bayer explained how the strategies she learned helped her better assist E.L.L. students. “I think it really helped some people who maybe weren’t as accustomed to teaching English Language Learners. We learned some really good techniques that I have implemented in my own classroom.”


Bayer applies Tier 1 methods to accommodate different types of learners. “Another technique that I frequently use is switching up the kind of activities that we do. Every classroom contains many different kinds of learners: auditory, kinesthetic, or visual. To engage every learner, I include activities that get students up and moving. The kinesthetic learners respond and engage well during those activities. Sometimes I include an auditory activity where students will listen to music or videos to learn. Auditory learners respond well to those activities. Visual learners respond well when graphs and images are used to explain rigorous or high-level topics. By switching up the activities that I incorporate into a lesson, I am more likely to engage all learners, regardless of the best way they learn as individuals.”


Louis Fry is a Cheyenne High School Learning Strategist who helps create the T1 professional development classes for Cheyenne teachers. He believes the training is having a positive impact on classroom instruction, “Tier I professional development helps teachers by preparing them to meet the needs of all students in their classrooms. The T1 professional development program helps teachers see and meet students’ diverse learning needs.”


Tier 1 professional development is ongoing for Cheyenne teachers. Future sessions will focus on helping teachers develop and effectively use rubrics to assess students’ work.