“Welcome back to a new school year, and enjoy your day!”
This is what k-12 teachers and staff of the school would often say. This is one of the things they might have heard at previous professional development training programs. It is an important part of instruction given to every school in every district. It should reflect the best of data-driven development efforts that one can get.
The basics that k-12 teachers are trained to do are:
- Inspect students work.
- Plan lessons, curriculum, units, including classroom-based assessments.
- Plan and use valuation of instructional practices.
These things are obviously important. But along with that professional development is also important. Here are the various elements of k-12 professional development training:
- It should begin with reference to mission, goals and values of the school.
- It should be able to identify the space between present reality and the preferred future.
- Student’s achievement data, feedback from students, school climate surveys are used to point toward the focus areas.
- Coaching and peer teaching are integral parts of k-12 professional development. It involves meeting with others in the study of vital issues and challenges. It is basically a platform where teachers consult with one another, observe classrooms, discuss and share teaching practices, promote support and collegiality, and help each other to ensure class teaching for all their students.
- Administrator should provide small portions of associated information. It is mainly helpful in delivering content to participant teachers and staff. The issue of recent data must be deemed when designing staff training sessions.
- Professional development activities can include technology as a medium to engage participants and deliver its content in the area of study. It requires training for k-12 teachers to not only use technology for themselves, but to know how they can utilize it as a teaching tool to keep students occupied in learning.
- Laughter is good for the brain and body. It reduces stress, cheers up the participants, and increases creativity and effectiveness of people attending serious trainings like this.
- The follow-up activities are very important after the training is over. It matters the most. Use of new skills is certified into the system where teachers constantly share and seek learning.
K-12 professional development may include many teachers with negative perception about the process of staff training, but the strategies are done with good intention so that they can learn to grow.