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Transcript of Profession Development
"In education, the term professional development may be used in reference to a wide variety of specialized training, formal education, or advanced professional learning intended to help administrators, teachers, and other educators improve their professional knowledge, competence, skill, and effectiveness."
This examination of
was completed for:
Cielo Azul Elementary
Why is Professional Development important?
Education, similar to the medical field, is always changing. It is important to give teachers access to the latest tools, mentors, and hands-on experience through professional development. According to Ben Johnson 2014, educating teachers is the most important thing we can be doing to ensure that our goal of achieving student learning is met.
How does Cielo Azul utilize Professional Development?
Cielo Azul, like many schools in the Rio Rancho Public Schools district, utilizes a Professional Development menu for options not mandated by the district. This allows staff to choose which subject matter will benefit them or their classroom most.
This menu is often full of classes taught by teachers at Cielo Azul. Some options offered this year were "Donor's Choose" or "Math Games and Manipulatives".
An Examination of Profession Development
By: Amanda Mandato
Utilizing PD Effectively
According to staff at CAE
Based on an anonymous survey
One way to meet the diverse needs of the staff is to offer a menu format for PD options. There are some great resources that can be offered that may only apply to primary grades, and others that would be great for upper elementary.
The biggest issue with the current menu at CAE is that 'optional' only goes so far. Often, teachers are attending PD sessions which they feel have no real benefit to them or their classroom simply because it is required that they attend a PD when there is one offered.
There is a better way.
When asked about the least beneficial PD in the survey, the majority was stuck between Eureka Module Training and PARCC Scoring Informative.
Our Current PD Menu
Cielo Azul's PD Menu is currently created by our Instructional Coach and a small team with representation from each grade level. This is a great way to begin a PD Menu, by ensuring multiple voices are heard.
PD is offered two different ways; there is mandatory PD set forth by either the district or school administration in which staff is required to take. An example of this from the 2015-2016 school year is the Eureka Math Training or PARCC Test Scoring.
The other way teachers have PD is through a menu in which they are given options to choose from. This menu is often sent out about a week in advance, sometimes after asking for input from staff if they have anything to contribute.
The idea behind the new style PD menu is that it is flexible, just as teachers are required to be in the classroom. We understand that all of our students have different needs and so we differentiate instruction. Why wouldn't we do that when teaching our teachers? Who is to say that a Level III with 24 years experience needs to attend the same PD as a first year teacher?
This new menu with an hour requirement allows teacher to be selective about their valuable time and helps to incentivise them to attend any and all PD's that would interest them as they come along.
Haley, C. (n.d.). Professional Development [Interview by A. Mandato]. Retrieved April 13, 2016.
In person interview with Instructional Coach at Cielo Azul Elementary
Hassel, E. (1999). Professional development: Learning from the best. Oak Brook, IL: North Central Regional Educational Laboratory (NCREL).
Johnson, B. (2014, September 16). Why Quality Professional Development for Teachers Matters. Retrieved from http://www.edutopia.org/blog/why-quality-professional-development-teachers-matters-ben-johnson
Professional Development Definition. (2013, August 29). Retrieved from http://edglossary.org/professional-development/
Reading First Notebook. (2005, July/August). Retrieved from http://www.sedl.org/pubs/reading100/RF-NB-2005-Summer.pdf
Vracar, A. (2015, February 24). 3 Reasons Why Professional Learning Matters. Retrieved from https://www.teachermatch.org/blog/3-reasons-why-professional-learning-matters/
A survey was sent out Spring of 2016 to ask current staff their opinions on professional development as it was offered currently.
When asked which Professional Development sessions were most beneficial to them, the staff was almost unanimously torn between PD that trained on new technology, such as SmartBoard or Google Classroom, or on 'Take Away' PD, in which staff would learn or create something to use immediately in class.
According to to Amy Vracar of Teacher Match Talent Talk, "for experienced teachers, it is vital to find time to participate in professional learning, because technology is continuously changing and subject knowledge is updated."
Astoundingly, of the more than 30 hours of PD offered this year, close to 40% of staff who took the survey said that they found less than 10 hours to be beneficial to them.
Additionally, the survey also showed that the majority of people (nearly 70%) only used what they had learned from professional development only somewhat frequently, or not at all.
Requiring teachers to attend PD sessions they do not find valuable can cause disillusionment with staff. The time spent in a PD that a staff member will not use (PARCC scoring for K, 1, and 2) is not using their time wisely.
So, how the issue of wasted time be fixed?
The Glossary of Education, 2013
Proposed New PD Menu Style
According to to the survey, the majority of staff at Cielo Azul would find it beneficial to be required to take a certain number of hours of PD. After those hours were complete, they would no longer have to attend PD sessions.
The New PD Menu Style would follow suit by giving each staff member an accountability log in which they would keep track of the hours they spend in PD.
This will ensure that staff is not attending meetings and sessions that they are considering a waste of time.
Staff made it known on the survey that they would find curriculum mapping between grade levels an effective PD.
I propose this be a required PD which would not count toward their "choosable" hours. This PD would have grade levels mixed; i.e. half of first with kinder, the other half with second, half of second with third, etc. The main concept of this PD would be to have teachers share the curriculum they go over and skills that are necessary for the incoming grade level.
Our math program is set up to teach a math lesson every single day. This includes days with assemblies, field days, field trips, as well as the very last day of school, often a half day. It does not account for snow days or days where school or math lessons are not possible.
A PD about curriculum mapping would show teachers which skills to focus on, as so many of the lessons in our math program repeat themselves.
“[Professional Development is] the process of improving staff skills and competencies needed to produce outstanding educational results for students.”
"Just as students respond to various instructional approaches, teachers respond to a variety of professional development delivery models. A differentiated approach to professional development delivery that may include study groups, job-embedded coaching, demonstrations, analysis of student work, mentoring, and academies will meet the needs of more teacher."
According to the Southwest Educational
I'd like to invite you to join my group Professional Development Team on Edmodo. https://edmo.do/g/nd77kx