Aurelio M. Montemayor, M.Ed.

Learning and Mentoring with Teachers and Students – Podcast Episode 71 | Classnotes Podcast 71

Classnotes Podcast (April 30, 2010) Professional learning communities give teachers the opportunity to come together as professionals to share what they are doing and improve as teachers. They give and receive support to each other as peers. Aurelio M. Montemayor, M.Ed., director of the IDRA Texas Parent Information and Resource Center, describes how IDRA combined this process as part of a planned variation of the Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program, a highly-successful dropout prevention program. Participating content teachers actively mentored three students weekly throughout the year. As a result, there was a transformation of adults and improved student achievement. Aurelio is interviewed by Christie Goodman, APR, IDRA’s communications manager.

Show length: 17:14

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Valuing Youth – Reflections from a Professional Learning Community
By Aurelio M. Montemayor, M.Ed., and Josie Danini Cortez, M.A., IDRA Newsletter

Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program

Continuities – Lessons for the Future of Education from the IDRA Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program

Professional Development Through Learning Communities
By K.P. Fulton and M. Riel, Edutopia Online, 1999
George Lucas Educational Foundation

Professional Learning Communities: Communities of Continous Inquiry and Improvement
By S.M. Hord, Southwest Educational Development Laboratory, 1997

Principles of Effective Professional Development for Mathematics and Science Education: A Synthesis of Standards
By S. Loucks-Horsley, K. Stiles, and P. Hewson, NISE Brief
National Institute for Science Education, University of Wisconsin-Madison, May 1996

Professional Learning Communities, Leadership, and Student Learning
S.C. Thompson, L. Gregg, and J.M. Niska, Research in Middle Level Education Online
Missouri State University, 2004

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Show Notes

  • Aurelio shares the background to the Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program and how it's worked well over the years.

  • Aurelio explains the importance of "valuing" students as assets rather than deficits.

  • Aurelio talks about the planned variation of the Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program that was used in a South Texas school district. It featured a professional learning community that modeled a process of dialogue and included additional planning meetings and quarterly retreats for the teachers.

  • Aurelio recounts an IDRA study in Dallas which found that students are more likely to graduate from high school if they have at least one adult (teacher, counselor, etc.) who understands their full story and can advocate for them.

  • Aurelio discusses "circles of influence" and how turning around challenging student helps creates a better teaching and learning environment for everyone. Similarly, the professional learning communities can pull up a weak teacher and allow them to encourage each other and solve problems together.