Professional Development Solutions

Tip:
So you have reviewed your professional development program from last year and see a need to make changes. Perhaps teachers attended workshops for the stipend only, or you did not get the attendance you were expecting. Maybe teachers have asked for and received technology in their classrooms but are having a difficult time integrating it into their curriculum. Some possible solutions for your program this year might include:

  • Meet with the administrator and district technology team. It would even be good to include the curriculum leaders to make sure you are meeting the school and district instructional goals.

Conduct a needs analysis of teachers’ use and integration of technology into their curriculum. Include questions on how they deal with change.

Guide your teachers in developing individual learning plans that help them design their own professional development.

Ask them to list any obstacles or challenges that might prevent them from meeting their goals.

Set up times to observe some lessons where they do use or could use technology so you can provide specific feedback and adapt this information to design a program that will help them become better teachers.

Meet with some curriculum leaders and/or mentors to collect real case studies and best practices so that you can match theory with practice.

Find examples from teachers both in your school or district and also from schools outside your district to bring in a different perspective.

Try to develop a coaching program and after-school modules that allow you to focus on specific skills and strategies that each teacher will need.

Overall, it would be great to meet everyone’s needs, but you might want to adopt the 80/20 rule. This is where you allocate 80 percent of your resources to 20 percent of your teachers.

Submitted by:Barbara Bray

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