The premise of the September 27th Professional Development Day was that choices are good. Although we have some state-mandated training to complete, teachers prefer to make decisions about their own professional development needs. The critical factor in teacher professional development is always time.
Unlike most other professions teachers have little time to develop their knowledge and skills. Doctors and lawyers spend significant time away from patients and clients to develop their craft. The perception with teaching can be that teachers are not “working” if they are not in front of students. The district let go of this perception on September 27th. When provided time and opportunity Burlington teachers demonstrated that they can help each other develop and improve. The district’s continued challenge is to allow this development to occur every day as an integral part of the job. Professional development can’t just happen on discrete days throughout the school year.
The survey monkey results are linked below. In general, the comments were positive. There were several great suggestions in regards to having people sign up for sessions ahead of time. Patrick had the high school teachers sign up and it worked well. We will borrow this practice on the next PD Day.
Password if asked (Sept27)