As professionals, teachers are required by the state of Iowa to choose a career goal annually as a focus to improve their teaching and impact student learning. This is called an ICDP or Individual Career Development Plan. The professional development model used in this process in our district is called “Climbing the Mountain.”


Nevada staff in all three buildings has started the journey of Climbing the Mountain in order to combine the professional goals that teachers have previously set for a year through the Individual Career Development Plan (ICDP) and the desire for teachers to have personalized learning and coaching opportunities. This model has been developed out of Jarod Boreman’s work as seen in the book “Professionally Driven.”


For those teachers who are also part of Teacher Leadership Compensation (TLC), Climbing the Mountain has been an excellent avenue to support all staff in the Nevada Community School District. In each step along the way, educators are encouraged to meet with an instructional coach for things like goal-setting, planning and reflection. Instructional coaches have been uniquely prepared for these conversations via Cognitive Coaching, AIW Coaching and the TLC release days focused on building coaching skills and practice.


Nevada Ph.D., our beginning of the year professional development conference put on by Nevada’s talented staff, has worked as an excellent partner for Climbing the Mountain as well. Teachers are encouraged to think about their professional learning goals as they choose sessions for Nevada Ph.D. and then encouraged to use those sessions as a support for their learning.


In response to this new model of professional development, teachers have said…


“This has been some of the best professional development because I was able to choose what I wanted to learn based on my interests and most importantly, on the needs of my students. I was immediately able to use what I was learning in my classroom to help my students, along with getting feedback via coaching conversations with our learning-team coaches and instructional guide. The positive impact in the classroom has been amazing.”


“I appreciate that Nevada Community School District places emphasis on professional development through Climbing the Mountain. This opportunity gave me the time and resources to learn about and implement new pedagogy in my classroom.”