Planning PD: Tailor to the Teachers

Take time to find out what kind of professional development teachers need. This can be done through surveys or discussion groups. Don't forget to survey the students as well. Student achievement is experienced when teachers are provided guidance in what nurtures students’ intellectual development and affects the learning process. Armed with this understanding, teachers are more articulate about the type of professional development that could address the learning needs of the students.

* Teachers need strategies that elicit students’ strengths and interests while connecting learning directly with their experiences.

* Professional development must be designed as part of long-term learning objectives that are embedded in curriculum, address how students will be assessed, create high expectations on a daily basis and provide strategies and accountability measures to meet these expectations.

* Include administration in professional development to avoid gaps between leadership, support, and lasting momentum.

Teaching is not easy and we must be realistic about the challenges that teachers face, but we must also value their input and their passion to competently assist students in not just passing tests, but in optimizing their learning.

There are better ways to structure professional development. Just ask the teachers and students who are participating in and praising meaningful professional development and data will support their assertions. Use this PD Planning Worksheet to get you started on the right foot.

PD Tips courtesy of Atomic Learning