When reflecting on what faculty professional development is, I thought of the following:
- PD is not one-size-fits-all because we are not a one-size faculty. While there are general areas that we can enhance, teachers need to be autonomously aware of their areas to improve upon.
- Guide teachers in planning and execution stages of teaching and instruction including class management and assessment. Developing individual plans for professional growth and adjusting those needs as seen fit is part of the natural learning process.
- Support the conscious effort of the reflective process on an ongoing or final product. Reflection paves the way to growth, and teachers need to have the explicit opportunity and safe environment.
- Not change teachers, but foster their abilities into self-betterment and continual improvement as educators.
- It is critical to remember the fundamental essentials of teaching and the current approaches to best teaching practices.
- Teaching is not all about the teacher talking 100%, nor is teaching hovering over students 100% of the time. Not if classroom management, instructional strategies, and student engagement are aligned.
- In order to grow professionally, we should also grow personally.
I was recently asked to develop an outline representing my vision for a school, a vision meant to promote faculty professional development. Time frame? 1 week. So to the white board I went and started writing through my stream of consciousness. Ideas. Thoughts. Arrows. Combinations. Categories. For the time being, I concluded that a vision for a strengthening faculty PD lies within the FACCT framework: Funding, Alignment, Communication, Connection, Transparency.
Funding: Schools should be able to fund teachers in their areas of interest. A set budget a year before is limiting. Get someone to write the grants.
- Bring in outside resources
- Conference/Workshop/Convention Attendance
Alignment: Instruction should be aligned with the school’s graduation outcomes and the school’s mission. What’s the point in having them if they are not consciously brought to the forefront?
- Graduation Outcomes
Communication – Bring out the voices. Developing faculty professions is not and should not be a top-down approach. PD is not one-size-fits-all. Can teachers enhance their development to bring out the interest of the school? Yes. But teachers need to embrace their personal interests as well, so ask them what they want, too.
- What do department chairs envision?
- What do individual faculty want to learn?
- ADDIE; UbD; Bloom
- Visions of school
- Learning Resource Specialist
- Learning Commons Resources
- Technology Coordinator
- Technology can be scary. It can be intimidating. What we need is to be fearless. – LeVar Burton, CUE14
- School policies – grading
Connection – teachers need to learn from each other; share ideas with each other; be humble when stuck.
- Inter- and intra department
- What is everyone doing?
- Make PD daily and random
- Tweet – action pics, whiteboard brainstorms
Transparency: Don’t be afraid to show off all of your teachers; motivate and inspire; like students, teachers, too, will want to perform if someone other than the administration is seeing their abilities.
- Show parents/audience how the school supports PD
- Post PD processes on website
- Current resources
- Evaluation templates
- Exemplary portfolios
- Share on teacher profile page
- Showcase the faculty
- Be proud of what happens on campus and in classrooms
- Once a month = 8-9 times a school year
- 4 CCSS
- 4 Graduation Outcomes
- Incorporate Mission
- Teachers self-track and self-evaluate progress – ongoing; not strictly scheduled