Blogs on Professional Development

Blogs on Professional DevelopmentRSS
Margaret ReganApril 14, 2014

All good teaching originates from the motive of generosity. To help others understand history, literature, mathematics or science is the ground upon which all learning stands. Fundamentally, education is the transmission of wisdom from one scholar to another.

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Monica BurnsApril 11, 2014

With so many great resources on the web, teachers are realizing that they can learn just as much (if not more!) from their personal learning network (PLN) as they can from traditional professional development (PD). Educators are connecting with like-minded individuals across the globe, reading about best practices and new trends in education, and sharing their experiences with friends and colleagues. Through social media, popular blogs and webinars, teachers are taking ownership of their learning and finding PD opportunities that weren't possible a decade ago.

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Tom WhitbyApril 10, 2014

I believe that most states require teachers to have a certain amount of professional development (PD) each year. I also believe that most states do not directly pay for this to happen, leaving the funding of any PD up to individual districts. At that point it comes down to budgetary priorities. Some schools have the means, but many others do not. Nevertheless, every school must check off a box on some form somewhere indicating that some degree of PD has been delivered. And so was born the idea of the full-day workshop at least once a year. The impact on the budget is minimal, all of the teachers receive a day of PD to carry them through the rest of the year, and most importantly, the box on the form can be checked. Does this sound familiar?

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Krista MoroderApril 7, 2014

My father is a former police officer who took up photography when he retired. A few months ago, I asked him when he was going to try a new hobby. "Aren't you an expert already?" I joked, pointing to his overbooked calendar of professional photography appointments.

"I have enough videos I still need to watch that I could fill up eight hours a day for the next four years," he said incredulously. "I don’t have time to learn a new hobby yet."

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Dave GuymonApril 3, 2014

Education has always been a reflection of broader cultural values. As such, the roles of teachers and students have evolved as our models of education have moved from one iteration to another. Teachers who once traveled to town to instruct a heterogeneous room full of passive learners on matters of rote memorization have come to adopt new roles and philosophies toward learning. As these new models have emerged, educators have been required to hone their skills and adapt to ever changing sets of priorities, needs and expectations.

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Petra ClaflinMarch 26, 2014

"Q & A teaching" is a practice that I was sometimes guilty of, and one that I've frequently seen throw off a lesson in many other teachers' classrooms. This occurs during the direct instruction portion of the lesson -- the instruction turns into a Q & A session instead of the teacher giving a clear model or explanation.

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Andrew MarcinekMarch 19, 2014

The term professional development (PD) has taken on many incarnations during the time I've been involved in education. When I first starting teaching, professional development was constructed in a very traditional format. It usually came in the form of a speaker, and the staff listened. More often than not, PD was an extremely passive experience.

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Andrew MillerMarch 10, 2014

Being a mentor teacher to a teaching candidate is quite a privilege and honor, as you are integral in nurturing and helping that new teacher to reflect and improve upon his or her instruction. I recently reached out to fellow mentor teachers and asked them about their advice and best practices, not only for teacher mentors, but also for new teachers in the field. Here are some great quotes and points from these practicing mentors.

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Andrew MillerMarch 4, 2014

It's been many years since I went through my teacher certification and student teaching, and wow! A lot has changed. And yet, there are still some stories of the journey to become a new teacher that remain the same. I recently reached out to my alma mater to speak not only with old professors, but also with current teacher candidates to ask them what it has been like for them.

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At Sammamish High School, we have been involved in a process of culture change that is impacting not only our students but our teachers as well. By giving our teachers the keys to their own curriculum though extended professional learning opportunities and defining core values of PBL instead of a particular method (see my earlier post), we have given teachers their own authentic learning challenge. As teachers have engaged in this real-life, problem-based task, they've drawn on their leadership skills with their peers to create a learning environment that seeks to engage and lift all kids through rigorous, relevant coursework.

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