Life-long learning is an essential characteristic found amongst effective educators and something that should be modeled for our students. With so many changes occurring in the field of educational technology, curriculum, pedagogy, and law, it is imperative that educators receive opportunities for growth in their school. Additionally, they should be provided with the knowledge and foundation to develop a Personal Learning Network. This will enable them to learn more according to their diverse interests and passions.
Time seems to a common theme when it comes to lack of teacher participation in after school professional development opportunities. This is completely understandable as many teachers are involved with students after school through athletics, extracurricular activities, and extra help, not to mention grading and getting materials ready for the next day. During a conversation with teacher leaders last year about improving how professional development is offered in a meaningful fashion, a model from the business world was suggested. This would incorporate training and other professional growth activities embedded within the school day.
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It also reduces the periods during the week that staff members will perform those duties that are retained. This change would then free up virtually every teacher for 48 minutes 2 or 3 times per week depending on the semester.
The vision then for staff members during this professional growth period will be to create innovative learning activities, develop interdisciplinary projects, and engage in professional development. At the heart of the professional development piece could be PD 360, which we are currently researching. We are ecstatic about this more effective use of time. What do you think? Any feedback and suggestions are greatly appreciated!