Who among us have had to attend a professional development session that has been a complete waste of our time?
Education researcher Robert Slavin wrote an interesting piece today titled What Works in Professional Development, where he reviews research on the topic.
It’s worth reading in its entirety. However, his key point is striking, and unsurprising to just about anyone who is a teacher.
The most effective professional development is on specific instructionaland classroom management strategies that are clear and can be implemented immediately by teachers, and offers ideas better than what they’re doing now.
So clear, but so missed by so many school districts!
Those are certainly what we focus on in our school’s sessions (generally led by teachers and administrators from our school). HERE’S THE AGENDA, INCLUDING RESOURCES SHARED, OF OUR SCHOOL’S ELL “PULL-OUT” DAY is an example of one, and our past and former principals have led excellent ones. Our present principal, Jim Peterson, has shared many specific strategies, lots which have been discussed in this blog. And here’s a piece that our former principal, Ted Appel, wrote about the kind of instructional strategies we have been encouraged to apply – What Tom Brady has in common with a great teacher (or what it takes to be great).
Let’s hope this wisdom spreads to all of our Central Offices!