Q: What is at risk?
A: In short – nothing. Absolutely nothing. We all know traditional professional development or professional learning is not the best model. It is not effective. I like to call it “sit and forget.” Yet we spend enormous amounts of money sending teachers and school leaders to conferences and workshops each year. Even if your best teachers try to implement what they’ve learned, who is there to tell them if they are doing it correctly or not? So I ask, how are they to improve exactly?
Q: What is the reward?
A: Engaged students, who have teachers equipped with the skills to meet their needs instead of some amassed number of hours at various trainings. Another reward: teachers feel supported in their journey to become great teachers. This is a big deal because that leads to retention and engaged teachers, which we all know is critical.
Q: How do I make the shift?
A: It’s actually easier than you think. Begin by focusing on the competencies you feel are valuable for teachers to have, and offer courses related to those competencies and require teachers to demonstrate mastery of what they learned from those courses. You can also connect with innovative companies like Digital Promise to help you make the shift.
Q: What’s the added bonus?
A: Not only do your teachers begin to receive support in their journey to become great teachers, but school leaders and districts now have a clear picture of who has the competencies to take on new roles. As a result, it’s easier to begin developing succession plans based on data. No longer do we have to solely rely on an interview to identify competencies.