One of the major key factors to having a highly successful and highly effective school Is having a highly successful and highly effective staff. Teaching Is a profession that requires instructors to stay informed about new and innovative teaching strategies and techniques. The faculty at a school needs to stay up to date on new policies and procedures the state and/or the district plan to impose. In order for teachers to service specific students that have special learning needs and/or disabilities, It is required they complete hours of deferent trainings to earn articulates.
Teachers need time to examine data for students, collaborate about ways to teach curriculum, share ways to Improve classroom management, and more. In addition to professional development, a teacher has to prepare her lessons, grade student work, handle various other job requirements, and still manage a personal life. Therefore, a problem arises about when and how to plan professional development so that it is beneficial but not a burden. As a teacher, I understand and appreciate the opportunities to attend various professional development trainings.
Once I become a school leader, the first step I will take to plan for professional development at my campus Is to communicate a set of guidelines about participating in training sessions. There are a few certifications and training classes that every faculty and staff member must complete yearly. For example, sexual harassment, gifted and talented, and Texas English Language Proficiency Assessment System (DELTAS) are a few trainings that must be done yearly.
After the required trainings are shared with everyone, I will then explain the expectations set by the district In terms of how many professional development hours each Individual teacher needs to accumulate by the end of the school year. Teachers will be informed that they will be allowed to choose what sessions they want to attend and when. I feel allowing the faculty and staff to choose what is of interest to them will make the professional development personal and lead to higher retention of Information.
Although I would be willing to allow teachers to choose their professional development, I will also share with them that as their supervisor I may require them o attend sessions that I pick. The reason for this will depend on my classroom observations, and if I feel a training class will be helpful in providing techniques that may improve Issues that I see. Also, I may select a teacher to attend a session and come back to campus to conducts replication of what he or she learned in that class.
Once the campus is in agreement with the stipulations surrounding professional development, my next step will be to plan time for teachers to attend professional development. To ensure the faculty actually participates In the offered training sessions, I will give the teachers various options in choosing which times they would like to complete trainings. The staff will be able to select from after school sessions, weekend sessions, calling in a substitute to attend during school hours, over holidays and breaks, and/or on early dismissal days.
Such flexibility with the schedule is needed to ensure everyone has a chance to receive the information needed to help Next, I will shift the focus from district-wide professional development to campus- wide professional development. This is where the school will focus on needs specific o our campus. As a leader, I will participate in a conversation about what it is needed to guarantee our school meets our campus goal for the school year. Then, the staff will decide how frequently and for what length of time they want to meet.
At the planned meetings teachers and administrative staff can meet by grade-level, content area, in mentor and minute partnerships, and so on. During the pre- planned sessions teachers will analyze data, collaborate on teaching strategies and methods, mentor each other, compare similar objectives across grade-levels, and more. This development will be planned by and ran by the faculty and staff, making it highly effective in ensuring the campus as a whole is progressing towards being an effective school. As a school leader I would love to see all professional development done face-to- face.
However, I understand that online training is available by school districts and at times is the only option for staff to complete certain professional development. On the other hand, the quality of training received while participating in such online sessions is very poor. I am aware that some teachers rush through the material, skip trait to the quizzes and tests without reading, share answers with colleagues, and more. I feel if the online course is offered for a certification and/or hours in an area that requires teachers to complete a session yearly, then it is fine.
Contrarily if the online training is focusing on topics such as pedagogy, safety procedures, and methods to address student needs, I would encourage my staff to attend a face-to- face class. Professional development is not perceived by teachers as the cherry on top that helps them become more successful at their Jobs. Instead, professional development is seen as an encumbrance. The negative views stem from teachers attending numerous trainings they feel did not apply to their grade-level or content.
In addition, inconsistent and unexpected planning of professional development trainings has caused teachers to grow more animosity towards training sessions. A strong school leader will take the before mentioned issues into mind and work collaboratively with his or her staff to ensure a decision is made that will please the majority. The faculty needs to understand the district does mandate professional raining requirements, and they are responsible for completing the requirements as well as campus needed professional development.