Professional Development for Teachers. Will change ever come?
I’ve been around the teaching profession since, well, since birth. Both of my parents were teachers and my sister was a teacher. Shoot, until I was in my mid-teens, I thought there were only two kinds of humans — teachers and kids.
So, it’s been that long since I’ve heard teachers, principals, and other school administrators bemoaning the state of professional development for teachers. Hardly a day goes by that I don’t hear or read something negative about teacher PD.
Now, because I am part of the group that runs SimpleK12’s Teacher Learning Community, you might think I’m trying to sell you on what I do, which is online professional development for teachers. So, it’s always a thrill when I can point to something or someone with no secret agenday.
That’s why I want to nominate Valerie Lewis as my “teacher hero of the week” for her superb article for EdSurge called Why Most Professional Development Stinks — and How You Can Make it Better.
In her piece, Ms. Lewis says that administrators can help their teachers by doing three things:
- Offer some choice to teachers and let them have a say in their own personalized learning.
- Observe so that you can create the kind of learning that teachers will buy into.
- Be clear on what you’re doing and be upfront when you can’t do something. Be real.
Valerie then goes on to talk about all sorts of ways that teachers can design their own learning paths and develop their own personal learning networks (PLN), which include such things as joining organizations and conferences as well as getting connected with other teachers on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, and other social media platforms.
Tell me, in the Comment section below, what you think about professional development for teachers in your school or district, and also let me know what you’re doing to craft your own PD future.
This stuff is too important to leave up to those downtown.