Building Teacher Trust with a Proven Platform
Hilton Head Christian Academy is a private K-12 school located in Bluffton, South Carolina. See how Hilton Head uses Bullseye to build relationships, improve communication, and drive instructional growth.
Hilton Head Christian Academy in Bluffton, South Carolina is doing things a little differently. “We don’t call teachers teachers, we use the word mentors,” explains Principal of Curriculum and Instruction Melanie Hilton. “We believe that the mentors are building relationships with students. We have found that the mentor-students relationship is just so valuable to provide growth in academic as well as other areas of life.”
Not only does the school prioritize a relationship-first approach to teaching and learning with their 600+ students, but also tries to do so with a cohort of academic coaches that support the mentors to improve their practice. But developing trusting relationships that improve teacher practice is easier said than done, particularly with new staff. “This year we had a handful of mentors that are brand new, and they were nervous, even terrified,” recalls Hilton.
In order to build trust, “we needed a platform to partner with our mentors,” said Hilton. Across both informal and formal classroom observations, “it needed to be a tool for growth and motivation, to help enhance their performance.” After surveying the landscape of available tools two years ago, they opted for Bullseye.
So how has it been received, particularly by the newest staff members? “Mentors love the instant feedback. Usually we sit down after, even informal observations, and talk about it. It’s not a catch-you kind of moment using Bullseye. It’s a tool to help them grow, challenge them, and empower them,” Hilton describes.
The benefits are just as apparent for coaches and administrators. “ I really love the simplicity of the system. I enjoy having everything right there at my fingertips, because I can just use my iPad or computer to go into the classroom,” describes Hilton. “I don’t have papers, I don’t have notebooks. Everything has been built and uploaded within Bullseye, which I love.”
Dr. Trevor Soponis is a life-long education professional with extensive experience in leading transformative education projects involving school, district, state, and university partners.