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4 terrific teacher communities for summer PD

E-School News – Emily M.

“Thinking about ways to avoid the “summer slide” over the next few months? Keeping up on skills over the summer isn’t just for students. The summer break is a great time for teachers to take advantage of those professional development opportunities that are hard to fit in during the school year. Teacher communities are a nice blend of social interaction and knowledge-sharing among peers. We put together a list of our favorite online PLNs for you to check out over the break.”(more)

Time to Connect Professional Development and Teacher Training to Curriculum

Education Next – Robert Pondiscio

“Slowly, slowly, a small but persuasive body of work is emerging which raises curriculum to an object of pressing concern for educators, and expresses long overdue appreciation for the idea that the instructional materials we put in front of children actually matter to student outcomes. A welcome addition to this emerging corpus is a new Aspen Institute paper by Ross Wiener and Susan Pimentel, which makes a compelling case—equally overdue—that professional development and teacher training ought to be connected to curriculum. A primary role of school systems, states, districts, and charter-management organizations, the pair write, “is to create the conditions in schools through which teachers can become experts at teaching the curriculum they are using and adapting instruction to the needs of their particular students.'”(more)

A Form of Professional Development That Research Shows Might Actually Help Teachers: Coaching

The 74 Million – Matt Barnum

““Professional development” is a four-letter word to some teachers, calling to mind all-staff lectures promising quick fixes, often from consultants who appear on inservice day and are never seen again. Similarly, researchers have generally been unable to find strong evidence on what forms of teacher professional development work or even whether the estimated billions of dollars districts spend on it annually are worthwhile. Now a new study points to one promising strategy for helping current teachers improve: one-on-one coaching.”(more)

Dealing with a ‘Culture of Fear’—Administrators on PD in the Age of Blended Learning

Ed Surge – Mary Jo Madda

“It’s pretty clear that very few people in education enjoy those typical sit-and-get professional development sessions. And when blended learning gets thrown into the mix, the situation gets even more complicated—what happens when educators seem afraid of products? Who should deliver PD, the administrators or the teachers? Talk to administrators, and they have some answers to these questions—as well as thoughts about what parts of PD should be left far, far behind. At the EdSurge Tech for Schools Summit in Riverside, EdSurge’s own Michelle Spencer led a panel with Steve Kong (instructional services specialist for Riverside Unified School District), Stepan Mekhitarian (blended learning coordinator for Local District Northwest in Los Angeles USD), Brad Hellickson (student advisor for online learning in Corona Norco Unified) and Michelle Clavijo-Diaz (Global Education Solutions Product Line Manager, HP Inc.) to get their thoughts.”(more)

Could PD lead to better student writing?

E-School News – Laura Ascione

“Certain teacher professional development could have a positive impact on academic writing by English learners in grades 7-12, according to a study from the University of California, Irvine. Students of teachers who participated in the Pathway Project, which includes 46 hours of training in the “cognitive strategies” instructional approach, scored higher on an academic writing assessment and had higher pass rates on the California High School Exit Exam than students whose teachers did not receive the training.”(more)

This is how you make PD engaging for teachers

E-School News – Samuel Mormando

“Teachers constantly juggle a number of different national, state, and district initiatives in today’s fast-paced and complex educational environment. Organizing professional development days that meet the varying needs of every teacher has become increasingly difficult as the pace of change far exceeds the number of days allowed for PD. To that end, Garnet Valley has adopted the acronym C.H.O.I.C.E., taken from Brad Currie (@bradmcurrie) and Jason Bretzmann’s (@jbretzmann) book, Personalized PD: Flipping Your Professional Development for its framework when designing professional learning days. In keeping with our goals of offering and utilizing C.H.O.I.C.E. (Constant Progress, Honoring Professionals, Ongoing, Individualized, Collaborative, and Energizing) sessions, our district divides the professional learning calendar into three distinct models: Technology Boot Camp, Assigned Professional Development Days, and CHOICE Professional Development Days.”(more)