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Articles: Professional Development

MISCALCULATING MR. MIX-UP—Sara Gardner, a preschool instructor at Edward Everett School in Boston Public Schools, has the puppet Mr. Mix-Up purposefully count apples incorrectly so students can explain his mistakes.

When beginning kindergarten, Latino students are three months behind in math literacy when compared to their white peers, says a 2017 study conducted by Child Trends.

Power in Numbers will teach principals how to design collaborative team-building projects and effective ways to analyze student learning in schools with their staff.

This guide helps principals improve instruction by strengthening their coaching techniques to mold teachers and staff into team-oriented leaders.

Every morning, principals in the West Bridgewater School District in Massachusetts get on the PA system to lead students through a few minutes of mindful breathing exercises.

Stacey McNinch-Curschman, the secondary curriculum director for Visalia USD in California, knew that as her district was ramping up its training efforts around Common Core standards for mathematics in 2013, as well as its own district-level curriculum changes, both administrators and teachers would need to be continually learning and improving themselves.

“If we work effectively as adults and we’re continually learning and continually improving, that’s going to net better results for kids,” says McNinch-Curschman, whose district has more than 27,000 students.

Tina Weaver is director of teaching and learning for Madison County Public Schools in Virginia.

Seeking alternatives to expensive professional development that takes teachers out of their classrooms and requires substitutes, Madison County Public Schools in Virginia developed a solution.

The road hasn’t always been easy, but Atlanta Public Schools has a proud history of bringing communities together to address academic and social challenges.

Educators want more effective ways to implement new teaching methods into lesson plans. The PD market is advancing, offering flexible and sustainable solutions rather than one-off workshops, lectures and in-service programs.

Hattiesburg School District designs technology training to empower teachers to take charge of their own professional development by letting them decide what they want to learn, when they want to learn it and how. 

Ariel Siegelman is a security expert and founder of Draco Group, which specializes in school security. 

The world of security can be daunting. Security tools and technologies are often expensive, and school leaders are not typically trained to know what will offer their institutions the greatest benefit.

Mark Seidenberg is trained in psychology, linguistics and neuroscience, and has used his education to study reading—language—as part of human behavior. He's also a researcher, who studies reading, and a professor.

In his new book Language at the Speed of Sight: How We Read, Why So Many Can’t, and What Can Be Done About It (Basic Books, 2017), Seidenberg says the answer to the question “Why can’t Johnny read?” stems from how reading is taught.

Pre-K programs for students with special needs vary widely in quality and scope. Some states and districts have long included students with special needs in pre-K classes alongside their more typically developing peers.

Adrian Vega is the school superintendent of San Benito Consolidated ISD in Texas.

Adrian Vega, superintendent of San Benito Consolidated ISD in Texas, has implemented leadership prep academies that promote professional development among aspiring leaders in the district.

Many districts across the country struggle with increasing demographic homogeneity more than 60 years after the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education. 

Susan German advises new K12 teachers to create a network of colleagues at the NSTA conference.

Susan German, a science teacher at Hallsville Middle School in Columbia, Missouri. German, named the NSTA’s distinguished teacher in 2011, teaches eighth-grade science. During her 20-year career, German has taught science and math in grades 6 through 12. We asked her for words of wisdom.

Erich May is the principal at McConnellsburg Middle and High School in Central Fulton School District in south-central Pennsylvania.

There is a kind of professional development that we rarely see but that many of us in school leadership could use. Some would call it coaching or mentoring, but what I’m describing is more specific—individualized instruction in an alternative setting off campus.

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