Professional Development For Teachers In A Virtual Setting

Professional Development For Teachers In A Virtual Setting

Professional Development Picture

When School Turnaround partners with a school we immediately start implementing our ST6 Strategies.  This training sets up a stream of Professional Development opportunities for their team and school.  

When a principal embarks on their turnaround journey they are assigned a specialist to help steer them on the correct path throughout the school year.  While professional development for teachers may look different today, the objectives and strategies don’t need to change.

What Does Professional Development Mean for Teachers?

Professional development is learning to earn or maintain professional credentials such as academic degrees to formal coursework, attending conferences, and informal learning opportunities situated in practice. It has been described as intensive and collaborative, ideally incorporating an evaluative stage.[1]

There is a variety of approaches to professional development, including consultation, coaching, communities of practice, lesson study, mentoring, reflective supervision, and technical assistance. Wikipedia

Below Are Some Ideas to Use When Planning Staff Development:

Create A Plan (Target Setting Form)

Target setting is not only for students, but principals and teachers alike.   It is important to have a plan: where are you hoping to go this school year and how do you plan to get there.   Once you have determined your targets they must be voiced to your teachers and staff. 

  1. Announce your targets at your first all-staff meeting. This way there are no surprises and it is all on the table in the beginning. 
  2. Alert your teachers that you will be holding a one on one target meeting with them within the first few weeks of the school year.   Be sure to outline what you are requiring of them to bring.  I.e. Grade books with students’ grades. 

Staff Plans Should Include:

  1. Clear and defined targets per grade, taking into account the data that they have on their pupils.
  2. What strategies, methods, or practices are needed to accomplish those targets.
  3. What changes will be made?
  4. What support is needed?
  5. What blockers are there for student success?   

Once your meetings are over it will be easy to determine the Professional Development your teachers will need based on their own targets. 

Professional Development for Data Use 

It is important to understand the data that the district is providing.  As a principal, it is your duty to be sure your teachers know how to read and use the data to obtain student success.   Professional Development days should focus on the assessment data of all students in the school.  This will allow teachers to identify their target students and plan for focus lessons.   As the year progresses it will be easy to see those students who showed growth and identify those that need extra support. 

  • Getting trained on the LMS system that the district offers will definitely be a professional development that you and your team will want to pursue.  
  • Create a data meeting agenda so that your team is able to come prepared and be able to answer any questions you may have. 
  • Work with your team to create class analysis and target setting forms based on the data. 

What Changes Have We Made to Accommodate Virtual Professional Development for Educators?

Our goal has always been to have our boots on the ground and work side by side with our principals.    When Covid hit, like others, School Turnaround had to adjust to work and fulfill our promises to our clients in a virtual environment.

Our specialists have honed in on their online meeting platforms, multiple Learning Management Systems, and state testing systems.  This knowledge is pertinent to student success when working side by side with their principals.  They hold virtual daily walk-throughs with their principals, hold data meetings with the teams, and support their daily needs with the click of a button. 

Topics for Professional Development

As stated earlier, professional development can be determined by the target setting exercise.   There can be similar needs for your teachers, which means you will end up creating a complete staff development plan to fill those gaps.  

School Turnaround has experience with implementing our entire ST6 strategies with our current clients.   There are a number of Professional Development services School Turnaround has implemented and presented virtually, that we have fulfilled our partners’ training needs.

If you are looking for exceptionally qualified educators to train your staff, I urge you to review the School Turnaround Professional Development Catalogue and set up a call with one of our Turnaround team members

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