Thursday, June 20, 2013

Don't Rely on Your Curriculum Coordinator! Part I

Don't rely on your curriculum coordinator.  How do I know this?  Because I am a Curriculum Coordinator, and I don't rely on myself.  When it comes to your professional development, you must build an intentional network that allows you to develop expertise in the exact area in which improvements are needed.  The stakes are high and getting higher.

Think about the last professional development event you attended, by mandate or choice.  Really remember it.  Can't?  Already you have a problem.  Think now.  Do you have that event in mind?  Now evaluate it against these standards.  Brutally honest evaluation of your professional development has consequences.

The Standards for High Quality Professional Development (HQPD)

1.  HQPD is a purposeful, structured, and continuous process that occurs over time.

  • Whose purpose was served by the PD you attended?  Do you even know what your purpose is?  Are you willing to be told what your purpose is?  What do YOU think you need next?
  • Was the PD structured?  Focused?  Attended by colleagues who want to grow?
  • Is the professional development a continuous process that occurs over time?  Are you still attending one-shot-sit-and-get as your primary means of PD?

2.  HQPD is informed by multiple sources of data.
  • Do your PD events connect to the needs of your students as evidenced by test scores?
  • What data can inform your need for professional development that is NOT a test score?  Consider what you wish you could do better.  Consider what the teacher you admire does so well.  

3.  HQPD is collaborative.
  • Who is helping you get better?  Who are you helping to become more expert?  What are you creating with someone else that has meaning to you?
  • What are you learning about collaboration that can be modeled to your students?

Are you satisfied and energized by your evaluation of these first three standards above?
Standards 4,5, and 6 will be addressed in the next post.

When finished with all this reflection on the standards for HQPD, it will become apparent that you need to take charge of your own learning by using the tools around you to create-your-own-professional-development.


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