Professional development is an important part of education and educator’s professional learning. Unfortunately, professional development is not always planned or delivered well, or is not relevant to the staff. Here are some tips for planning professional development:
1. Develop a professional development committee to plan and coordinate.
2. Demonstrate examples of classroom technology use, best practices, etc.
3. Use multiple needs assessment instruments. What does the staff need/want for professional development? Take a survey, email them, ask them to send in ideas. Use the EdCamp model.
4. Design individual learning plans based on the needs and wants of the staff.
5. Identify leaders who can provide expertise. This includes your own teachers and staff. You do not have to hire expensive consultants for professional development. Look inside your own school and district first.
6. Create a list of on-site learning opportunities. What are you going to offer at your school?
7. Share a list of off-site and online learning opportunities. Also share methods and resources for funding. Share free conferences, like Day of Discovery, EdCamp, TeachMeets and online conferences and more with your staff.
8. Build in time for staff planning meetings.
9. Share successes as well as expectations not yet met.
10. Continue to plan and re-evaluate often.
11. Create programs that provide on-going support. This is very important. Offering 2 hours of training is all well and good, but there must be on-going support to help teachers implement what they learn.