A lot of times we get caught in the daily grind and think only short term goals. When we work with teachers, we need to think out of the box and look at the bigger picture. Many teachers only know what happens in their classroom or with the few other teachers with whom they work.
- Talk to all stakeholders — teachers, administrators, librarians, classified employees, students, and, if you have access, to parents, community members, and even graduates.
- Ask each stakeholder through interviews, online forms, or surveys, what they believe teachers are learning in professional development activities. Collect examples of evidence that PD was effective.
- Walk through the school(s) to get a sense of how everything is working. Get permission to sit in on different classrooms. Sit with teachers during their lunch time and/or breaks in the faculty room.
- Provide a first impression and general overview of your findings and share with the school.
- Create a professional development committee who will work with you to create an action plan based upon the findings.
Without information and the perspectives of the different stakeholders, it is difficult to make sound decisions that will create an effective program. Professional developers are in the best position to collect this information and be able to understand and relay the bigger picture.
Submitted by:Barbara Bray
Image from:My eCoach eLibrary