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From Staff Development to Professional Development to Professional Learning
My daughters are attending new schools this year, so I’ve been a nervous dad the past few weeks. How will they do? Will they make friends quickly? Will they learn and grow like we hope?
Instant Poll: What Professional Development Did You Take Over the Summer?
Remember that cursive writing paper you used to use in elementary school? Slightly gray or yellowed paper, with red and blue lines on it — each row solid at the top and bottom, dashed in the middle?Continue Reading
4 Simple Ways to Boost Educator Growth Every Day
With the start of a new school year almost upon us (or already here, depending on where you are), educators everywhere are gearing up — making preparations for students, polishing up lesson plans, training new hires and laying plans for the year.
6 Ingredients for Staff (and Student) Ownership in Education
Here’s something obvious but important: there’s a real difference between simply showing up and truly buying into the mission and vision of your organization. It’s true in business, and it’s true in schools. And in schools, cultivating employee ownership for that mission has an equally important partner: ensuring students are invested in their education.Continue Reading
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Focus Groups: Your Secret Weapon for Enhancing Professional Development Program Evaluation
Focus groups (FGs) -- essentially interactive, conversational group interviews -- are an underappreciated data collection strategy. When used well, they can provide rich, nuanced and actionable data for your professional development program evaluation. They are fairly easy to add to your repertoire and don’t require extensive planning or resources to carry out. They are often used in other contexts (e.g., market research, usability research) and are flexible enough to be used for different purposes (e.g., to inform the design of a product or service, to collect feedback about a website, to test potential survey questions or dig deeper into survey responses). FGs are best used along with other data collection strategies, such as surveys or interviews.Continue Reading
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Students Evaluating Teachers: It’s Time to Ask the Kids…and Then Listen to Them
One day Alan*, a high school student in my special education English class, exclaimed in frustration, “All we ever do in here is read and write!” It was a proud moment for me. A huge compliment. That statement validated for me that I was doing it right, not wasting precious instructional time with frivolous activities.Continue Reading
Why Use the Danielson Framework for Teaching, 2011 and 2013 Editions (Over 2007, That Is)?
When Charlotte Danielson first published the Danielson Framework for Teaching in 1996, her intent was to describe what good teaching was. Over the course of several revisions in 2007, 2011 and 2013, the Framework has provided a common language for discussing teaching practice for a vast number of districts across the country. It also serves as a guide for professional learning over the course of a teacher's entire career.Continue Reading
Fascinating Moments in the History of Professional Learning and Technology
The training of teachers has a long and storied history in America. While earlier efforts were a far cry from today's education programs — not to mention PLCs, online just-in-time learning and cycles of continuous improvement — efforts to help teachers grow in classroom practice predate the Declaration of Independence.Continue Reading
Districts Benefit from Professional Development Schools in More Ways Than One
A few years ago Dr. George Fiore, superintendent of Kutztown Area School District in Pennsylvania, got together with a few of his colleagues — a handful of superintendents from neighboring districts. They looked around at the education landscape and, like most of the country, saw far fewer college graduates intent on teaching.Continue Reading
Quiz: The Price of Teacher Attrition
It’s no secret that America has been in the throes of a teacher shortage, and that it doesn’t look likely to change soon. But with the high cost of teacher turnover, district leaders can’t afford to sit back and watch the teacher pipeline leak.Continue Reading
Curriculum & Instruction: A 30,000 Foot View
It’s so important to understand the people you serve. Any good boss knows the needs of his employees. An excellent coach knows what motivates her team members. Teachers know what gifts and needs their students bring to the classroom. But it can also be helpful to hear about the experiences of counterparts — those who hold the same position you do — in other districts.Continue Reading