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Changing Times: Can Traditional Professional Development For Educators Lead to Growth?

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These days it seems that all successful school districts have one thing in common: an abundance of quality professional development opportunities for all educators. These high-performing districts encourage their staff to continuously improve and embrace the learning culture. Education DIVE reported that higher ranked individuals who embrace learning will see a trickle-down effect to their students. When a school leader displays the importance of education by using themselves to set an example, everyone wants to work harder to keep up.

For example, in Minnesota, more than 750 teachers, principals, superintendents, coaches, and curriculum coordinators took advantage of 18 professional development courses made available to them during the summer. The results were fantastic, and the enthusiasm to learn was at an all time high. Higher ranked administrators set an example that everyone – themselves included – need to continuously cultivate their skills. Because, in the words of tes, there are few things wrong with the education system that can’t be improved by properly educating and supporting teachers who are already working in the system.

Introduction | Meghan Keates

At a Glance:

  • If there’s a great emphasis on continuous learning environments for students, equally important is the   professional development and continued education of teachers, too
  • Educators in Minnesota are already seeing the benefits of professional development
  • Tes believes that there are few things that can’t be solved by professional development for educators

Around the Web:

What makes a good principal

Autumn A. Arnett | Education DIVE | Twitter

When education insiders pick apart the factors that make a school successful, there’s often a lot of conversation about academic rigor, resources, quality of teachers and even, in some cases, the socio-economic makeup of the students within the school.

But the success of a school is as dependent on the principal as any other single determining factor one could list. If there’s a great emphasis on continuous learning environments for students, it stands to reason that equally important is the professional development and continued education of the adults in the school, too.

Jason Dougal, CEO of the National Institute for School Leadership, said the key determinant of principal effectiveness is, “Does the principal see [him or herself] as a learner? How they approach their own learning, how capable [they are] of creating the type of professional learning environment in their own school where teachers would have accountability to each other and would be relied upon to create their own learning.”

“What we see is that organizations that are really high-performing have a lot of similar traits, and one of those is this continuous improvement or continuous learning culture,” he continued. “That type of learning environment will trickle down to the students, where they see it as their charge to be constantly improving learning.”

To read more visit Education DIVE

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Summer training paying off for hundreds of local teachers, students

The Pilot-Independent

Dozens of central Minnesota classrooms are already reaping the rewards this school year from targeted educator training developed by National Joint Powers Alliance (NJPA).

More than 750 teachers, principals, superintendents, coaches, and curriculum coordinators took advantage of 18 professional development courses over the summer.

“It’s exciting to think about the impact we’ll have on area students for many years to come,” says NJPA Education Solutions Manager Kassidy Rice. “When educators are this dedicated to their profession, it makes a big difference in schools. The trainings plant the seeds of success, and together we’ll watch them grow.”

NJPA serves 23 school districts in Minnesota Region 5, which includes Cass, Crow Wing, Morrison, Todd and Wadena counties. By offering programs for multiple districts, NJPA is able to tap into national and international education experts for local training events.

To read more visit The Pilot-Independent

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‘Schools must appoint teacher coaches to keep staff up to speed with rapid changes in technology.’

Tom Whitby | tes | Twitter

Recently, as I was tweeting about the need for teachers to be more aware of what was going on within their profession, an unexpected tweet response came from a connected educator who I greatly respect and hold in high regard.

He tweeted that he was tired of the teacher bashing. I was upset for that was the furthest thing from my mind as I tweeted my opinions out.

I have always supported teachers and have a record of doing so during my very public run in social media for the last decade. It is my belief that those who would limit or even dissolve public education for the sake of advancing a for-profit alternative have scapegoated teachers in recent times.

There are few things wrong with the education system that can’t be improved by properly educating and supporting teachers who are already working in the system. The exception to this, of course, is the problems specifically related to schools in areas of poverty, both urban and rural.

These schools have problems that will require more solutions than supported professional development can provide. The problems: personal, political and cultural of these schools may be helped by supported professional development, but the foundational issues need more political solutions.

Probably the biggest problem teachers have is the rapid rate of change that occurs in our computer-driven culture. Things change so fast that we are now faced with “data obsolescence.” That which we believe to be true today, may not be true or might be replaced by another fact or improvement in the upcoming year.

To read more visit tes

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