Improving Student Performance with Declining Resources
Professional Development Best Practices
- Sponsor/Send only the staff members that are most capable of sharing and bringing others on board when they return. Expect that this will part of the "price" they pay for the district sponsoring them to go to the professional development. I believe this is called "third-party" training.
- Train schools on alternate years-elementary one year, middle/high school the next year. Provide time for the two groups to intermingle and share ideas.
- Design a program similar to Project Red used in Las Vegas. Scholastic Red's resources include professional articles, lesson plans, and web links-all of which can be taken from an online or face-to-face meeting and used in the classroom the next day. Because teachers meet with a core group from their own schools, they can rely on one another for mentoring and support, while facilitators like Robinson pop into classrooms to model strategies and check up on implementation. The lessons are created with differentiated learning in mind, so even ESL and special education teachers are using the program. "It creates a common language for all our teachers," says Mathews.
- Use videotapes, CDs, and DVD's to provide large group trainings or for bringing on new staff members.
- http://www.educationworld.com/a_admin/admin/admin005.shtml To ensure that your school is receiving all the available professional development funding to which it's entitled, check with your local and state educational agency. Request information on all available funding programs and deadlines. Contact national educational associations like The National Foundation for the Improvement of Education and the Clinical Schools Clearinghouse. These organizations provide valuable information and resources to assist educators.
- Try using the professional development under a variety of categories-for example, leadership and growing coaches.