- A new report from Teaching Matters, “Competency-Based Micro-Credentials for Educators: Powerful Lessons from Two Years in the Field,” outlines key takeaways from three case studies in New York City schools and a suburban district that implemented new professional development models.
- Teachers found competency-based professional development to be more engaging and relevant, and it allowed administrators to consider competencies when building career ladders and making staffing decisions.
- Creating clear incentives, like offering alternative pathways to teacher leader roles through competency-based courses, helped create buy-in among teachers, and the idea of mastering competencies rather than counting seat time in professional development workshops showed promise for long-term results in the classroom.
The best teachers are lifelong learners, always looking for ways to hone their craft. Student populations are changing, new technologies are expanding the possibilities for instruction, and there is always room for improvement. As school districts pursue personalized learning for students, many are tailoring professional development for the unique needs and interests of staff members.
High-quality evaluation systems can help set a clear direction for professional development needs. The move away from No Child Left Behind accountability requirements frees districts to shift their teacher evaluation systems and focus more on teacher growth. While these types of evaluations can be more time-consuming, they can have a significant positive impact on teacher performance and satisfaction, which ultimately helps students, too.