I think one of the biggest challenges that we face when dealing with professional development is that it is often treated as a “one size fits all” strategy. I truly believe just as voice and choice are important for students it is also important for teachers. That is why it is important to allow for the teacher’s choice in a way for teachers to receive professional development to help create more buy-in as well as shapes a culture that will encourage transformation occur at all levels.
A common vision and goal are important to have for a school to help create a culture conducive to engaging learning. Just as different departments have different professional development opportunities available that work towards the common goals and objective, more opportunities should be given to teachers in the way that mandatory training is offered. If we don’t want to see the traditional lecture model in the classroom, we should also not use the traditional lecture model in training.
With that being said, I am so excited about our new and different approach to professional development next week in Mansfield ISD. We are going to do webinars that will allow teachers flexibility in time and choice in what they would like to get trained on. 15 Webinars are being scheduled for the 2015-2016 school year and teachers are asked to complete 3.