Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Professional Development for Teachers

If you've been wondering what teachers do on professional development days, be sure to read this post!

Approximately three hours of each morning are devoted to district-wide professional development. As our district PD plan (which if you haven't checked it out, look for the link in the resources section on this blog) states, the ultimate goal of professional development is for teachers to grow in effectively integrating technology into instructional based practices grounded in the Iowa Core in order to increase student engagement, college readiness, and achievement.

During this time, we are working toward this goal by studying the book Using Technology with Classroom Instruction that Works and engaging in technology training centered around SMART boards (since a majority of classrooms have access to this tool.  Teachers then collaborate with their grade level or content teams to plan upcoming lessons that are grounded in Iowa Core content and infused with the instructional strategies and technology tools studied during PD.

Teachers are expected to complete assignments in a virtual environment, the Moodle, before the next professional development day.  These assignments include uploading lesson plans, contributing to online discussions based on book study and technology, and reflecting on classroom practices.

The remaining hour is designated as building level time and plans for that time are determined by the needs of the specific grade levels in that building.  Throughout the year, buildings will examine district data, receive additional training in assessment or technology, and/or plan and prepare for upcoming initiatives.

Effectiveness of professional development is tracked by administrators and the District Leadership team through the use of teacher feedback surveys and walk-through observations.  The data is evaluated to measure if the teachers are growing in their personal learning and if that learning is reaching students at the classroom level.

If you are interested in more specifics, check out the agenda for November 7 to see what learning teachers will be engaged in next Monday.  If you have any questions, please contact the district for more information.