LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - It may be Aphra Erwin's first year teaching, but she seems like a veteran.
But Erwin said she's not this comfortable teaching her students without a little help.
"Especially for me being a first year teacher, they came in a lot to make sure I was doing okay, asking how's this standard going, and making sure I was teaching it right," said T.H. Watkins Elementary Teacher, Aphra Erwin.
The extra help is from the PROGRESS Project
The main goal is to increase student achievement and educator effectiveness.
One way that goal is met is by helping new teachers.
"Research shows that new teachers are going to leave in their first three-years of teaching and so we try to support new teachers," said PROGRESS Project Coordinator, Lauren Beckham.
Twenty-one schools are participating in the project. Those schools are considered priority schools in the district.
PROGRESS also places instructional coaches at each school participating.
"Basically, anything the teacher needs me to do, I'm just there to support them," said Instructional Coach, Ashley Johnson.
The coaches assist staff with different teaching methods, including Common Core.
"A bunch of them came during the summer to help us with Common Core training and just that alone," said Erwin. "Breaking down the standard made me a whole lot more confident starting the year."
And Erwin said whether it's Common Core or anything else she might need help with, the PROGRESS Project helps her help her students.
"Getting to be hands on and actually seeing them get something is just the best reward I could've imagined," said Erwin.
The project works to recruit and retain highly effective staff as well. It also rewards staff members that receive a good evaluation with an extra financial stipend.
The project is funded by a federal grant.
Click here to learn more about the project.