Thursday, August 16, 2007

Professional Development Planning Meeting

With the school year underway, the Professional Development Team met again to solidify the schedule for staff development this year. The administrative team presented the calendar of events for the Professional Development team to review. One notable change was that we are now required to attend six ninety minute staff development sessions. We decided at the summer meeting to use that time to work on our ELC topics. However, the decision was made to add SITE facilitation to our schedule. So we now have a ton of professional development options each month. We are required to attend three separate and seemingly unconnected training sessions: Our selected ELC topic with a required implementation and reflection, our monthly Special Ed topic with a required implementation and reflection, and the SITE facilitator session which has no required reflection. I got me thinking about how much can teachers have thrown at them and not shut down?

As each meeting of the professional development team occurred, the growing number of professional development experiences we were required to participate prompted me to write my concerns down in a file which I want to share with the administration. I have a meeting scheduled soon. Essentially, this file reflects on my hopes and concerns for the upcoming year. I identified a lot of "problems" I see with the plan, but I also know that sometimes, administrators are not given an option. The required SITE facilitator training is one of those instances. The Central Offices requires them to come in to give us training since we didn't make AYP. I wonder why they only do that when we don't make AYP? Why don't they do that proactively? Something to ponder.

Anyway, the big deal for me as an administrator is to construct professional development that has common threads and are connected in a way that teachers can digest. Since I'm part of the Professional Development team I can look at the big picture and connect the dots (sort of). With disjointed training, it becomes task mastering instead of skill building.

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