Rigor is NOT a Four-Letter Word Staff Development Guide
(Note: As the leader, you should read pp. 163–168 for ideas for facilitating
discussion and application of Rigor for school improvement and staff development.)
1. Choose one of the following plans for staff development using Rigor is NOT a Four-Letter Word.
2. Submit the continuing education approval form (page 2 of this document) to the AACS office.
3. When the approval form is returned to your school, copy it on the back of each teacher’s
attendance voucher (form is available on the AACS website). Keep a copy in the teacher’s
personnel file. Submit each teacher’s attendance voucher/approval form to the AACS office
when submitting the teacher’s certification application.
1) During in-service week: Introduce the book and complete chapters 1 and 2. Assign teachers to
read the chapters and complete the IYT/FI sections. Divide into groups to discuss the IYT/FI.
Groups may be by department or grade level or subject areas, or a grouping of new and veteran
teachers. Have each group present its findings to the entire faculty.
2) Make one assignment due for staff meeting the second week of school. Example: Report on
your application of Ciardiellos Four Techniques of Questioning (p. 23) in your classroom. Give
real examples of questions you actually used from each of the four types. State the class and
3) Throughout the school year: (This format would probably require 30 minutes during staff
meetings devoted to staff development/Rigor.)
A. Assign weekly staff development assignments. Before the meeting each teacher should
read and complete a rough draft of the IYT for one strategy weekly. (Example: Week 1 –
Chapter 3/Valuing Depth; Week 2 – Ch. 3/Increasing Text Difficulty Week 3 – Ch.
3/Creating Connections). At the weekly meeting, share in groups or departments
B. At the end of each chapter, assign that each teacher implement one of the 5 strategies
and report on its implementation (how, when, results). In order to implement the
strategy, the teacher will most likely need to expand on the rough draft work done
when the strategy was read and discussed during the weekly session. Allow, encourage,
and/or require teachers to report on implementation.
C. When Chapters 3–7 are completed, continue with Chapters 8 and 9, leading your school
for implementation as desired.
Throughout the year assign a complete chapter every month and have a once-a-month one- to two-hour
staff development workshop for discussion and for groups to work on application/plans for that chapter.
Schedule half-day staff development workshops, covering one to three chapters each time.
Choose just one or two chapters that your school would most benefit from and establish a plan for study
of the strategies and implementation and evaluation until those strategies are consistently and
effectively applied school-wide.