How can administrators make PD worthwhile?
- Some schools take the wrong approach when it comes to professional development, limiting its effectiveness.
- Truly impactful PD should be personalized for the learner to ensure they are getting the most of the experience, according to a recent edWeb webinar.
- Schools can improve PD by offering teachers more choice in their learning, creating hands-on projects and creating cohorts of peer leaders.
Many teachers frequently complain that the professional development they receive isn't relevant to their practice, or is too weighted on how to use specific tools instead of strategies for using them with students. Add to that the fact that teachers need different levels of support depending on where they are in their careers.
Other schools and educators are making great strides in this area, targeting PD for their needs. Some are joining professional learning communities and communities of practice with others who share similar needs and completing action projects around topics that matter to them.
Still other districts, such as the Hattiesburg School District in Mississippi offer teachers a number of avenues for completing professional learning, including sessions with a private coach, opportunities to take part in local peer-led #EdCamp unconferences and a system of microcredentials, which are tied to salary increases. All these practices are designed to give teachers more voice and confidence in their learning while targeting the areas they need help with the most.