The image above is something that I ran across while scrolling through Facebook one day. As I read it I could relate to all 10 points that were present. This would probably cover most of what teachers want from their professional development (PD). I would have some things to add as I continue to learn more about literacy and coaching adults.
Lyons & Pinnell (2001) mention some of the characteristics of adults as learners. Some things to consider when planning and implementing PD would be:
What do they already know?
What are their past experiences (successes, failures)?
Do you have a group of newer or veteran teachers?
Will the things you are teaching them be helpful in their classrooms NOW?
Are you meeting the expectations of the group?
Is what you are doing worth their time?
Despite having many different learning styles, teachers do have things in common when your goal is effective PD. Lyons & Pinnell discuss these Constructivist Principles of Teaching (2001, p. 4)
- Encourage active participation.
- Organize small-group discussions around common concerns.
- Introduce new concepts in context.
- Create a safe environment.
- Develop teachers’ conceptual knowledge through conversation around shared experiences.
- Provide opportunities for teachers to use what they know to construct new knowledge.
- Look for shifts in teachers’ understanding over time.
- Provide additional experiences for teachers who have not yet developed needed conceptual understanding.
I didn’t feel like any of the above were worth summarizing. They are all so important to keep in the front of our minds in order to ensure that our PD is effective for everyone involved. As the facilitator you want to accommodate the expectations of both administration, parents, and teachers while also keeping in mind that the purpose is for the success of your students.
Lyons, C. A., & Pinnell, G. S. (2001). Systems for change in literacy education: a guideto professional development. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.