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Articles: Professional Development

Student success starts at the building level. Can you talk about the influence of the building culture as an “experience” generated by teachers and other certified staff?

Elyse Doti Cohen and Matthew Pearson have both served as teachers, assistant principals and principals in New York city public schools.

In 2014, the New York City Department of Education’s Office of Leadership created the New Principal Support (NPS) program to reduce turnover and help experienced principals grow.

BROADENING HORIZONS—Tech staff at Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District near Minneapolis coach teachers to help students use technology to bridge cultural barriers.

Instructional technology directors serve as classroom coaches and content experts in districts determined to use devices, digital learning and other technology to their full instructional potential.

For 25 years, Michael Niehoff has been a teacher, advisor, director of activities, learning director, principal and author. He writes on project-based learning, social media literacy, transformational leadership and professional development.

Here is a list of non-education books that today’s educational leaders recommend to their peers.

Below you can find a list of professional development providers:


Link to main story: PD beyond school classrooms


Kronos, www.kronos.com

PublicSchoolWORKS, corp.publicschoolworks.com

SafeSchools, www.safeschools.com

CAREER OPPORTUNITIES—The apprenticeship program at Newport News Public Schools in Virginia puts employees on track for raises and promotions. It can also help them enroll in college.

Managing and keeping track of the many hours of professional development required for a district’s non-instructional staff may be one of an administrator’s more underappreciated responsibilities.

A new movement that promises closer cooperation between higher ed and K12 aims to end this legacy of passing the buck.

Thousands of science teachers around the country are incorporating standards that include the study of climate change. But other educators have found that one of the first questions to answer is exactly how to deliver the lessons.

Schools and districts in nearly 30 states—including Lyon County School District (Nevada)—use the Edthena platform to video coach educators. Lyon County began video coaching its 200 elementary school teachers in the 2017-18 school year. The PD was made possible by a grant from the Nevada Department of Education.

Leanne E. Oliver is a mathematics teacher and curriculum chair at Monsignor John Pereyma Catholic Secondary School in Oshawa, Ontario.

High-quality, collaborative, professional development for teachers is a difference-maker for students. I have witnessed firsthand its power as a teacher and mathematics curriculum chair at Monsignor John Pereyma Catholic Secondary School in Oshawa, Ontario.

While innovations typically involve a high degree of novelty and a paradigm shift, tried-and-true best practices often serve as their launch pad and rocket fuel.

In designing and selecting professional development opportunities that harness and reflect best practices in education, there are four key elements for a high-quality experience: authenticity, contextual learning, a creative climate, and reflection and transference.

Two years ago, Elizabeth Rincon was seeking to end the last-minute scramble to cull professional development for approximately 125 special education paraprofessionals on days when teachers had preplanned PD.

“Principals had to either swiftly get something together for paraprofessionals in terms of PD or they would email me and I would have to quickly plan a PD module,” says Rincon, director of special education for Timberlane Regional School District in southern New Hampshire.

How closely is professional development linked to student achievement?

Professionalism expects learning to be in the collective. We should think of our own learning and growth as part of a mutually beneficial ongoing professional development process. A big part of that idea is that we share and become more transparent in our practice as educators. 

When Mark MacLean became superintendent of the Merrimack Valley and Andover School Districts in New Hampshire four years ago, he wanted to find an online solution for teacher evaluation that could also link to professional development.

After some research with his leadership team, MacLean found TeachPoint, which offers a Professional Development Tracking Solution that also enables districts to link ongoing professional development with its Educator Evaluation Solution. MacLean decided to use the Evaluation Solution on its own for one year before adding the PD Tracking Solution.

When it comes to professional development, Regina Teat believes building the instructional capacity of every instructor and classroom teacher is the most effective use of time and money of any program, especially using grant funding.

“When the money goes away, the capacity and knowledge through good professional development for the teacher remains,” says Teat, Director of Elementary Education and Title I & II for Dorchester County Public Schools, a rural district located on Maryland’s eastern shore.

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