Job-embedded professional development does not automatically ensure better results for students. When engaging with PD 360 as part of their learning plan, teachers and administrators need to maintain a steady focus on results rather than just on logging a certain number of hours or filling out a certain number of reflection questions. Specifically, educators need to make sure that their learning leads to changes in teachers’ practice and results in the classroom.
“I can clearly show that my instruction is getting better,” says Preston Coppels, director of instructional services in Ashburn, Virginia. “That’s the ultimate in terms of professional, professionalism for them, and I think that’s the biggest joy that teachers get out of this. I mean, they really love to see that. I’ve never seen a teacher not excited about kids learning. I mean, it’s all that teachers are really dedicated to, and that’s the biggest thrill that they can get.”
Any successful professional development plan will ultimately show results in the classroom. Reports and professional conversations can help administrators monitor teachers’ engagement in their professional learning, but administrators should also visit classrooms to measure the results such learning is having on students.
The last walkthrough we did dealt with authentic student engagement, like are the students engaged, and are the cooperative groups formed the way that you saw them on PD 360. We have found evidence of it. Before we implemented these strategies, [the students would] be working together . . . and everybody was pretty much doing the same thing, just sitting in a group. But now, in one classroom example I recently saw, there were two recorders, there was a presenter, and there was a time keeper. So each student in that group of four or five had been assigned a role.”
Learn more about how students benefit from job-embedded professional development for teachers by watching the video on PD 360.