It’s time to admit that professional learning sessions that both interest and excite teachers and result in educational innovation in classroom practice do not happen, and will never happen, in done-in-a-day professional development presentations. Fly-by professional development presented by an animated speaker with skinny knowledge and a joke a minute may seem appealing, but in the end, what are teachers really taking away? And will it make any difference in students’ success in learning?
So how do we increase the likelihood that professional development will actually change teaching and learning? First, we establish a framework for effective professional learning that commits time and support to teachers as they work to apply new ideas:
This framework represents a comprehensive and long-term approach to professional learning that increases the likelihood that new ideas and strategies will actually take root in teachers’ classroom practices.
Next, we consider what makes professional learning sessions engaging and exciting.
Professional learning that engages and excites teachers . . .
As facilitators of learning experiences, it is critical that we recognize teachers as professionals with valuable insights that need to be shared. Committing to an effective professional learning framework and skillfully planning sessions that respond to teachers’ needs and interests are critical not only for meaningfully engaging educators but also for making a difference for the students in their classrooms.
This article was originally published at Free Spirit Publishing.