The professional development process in has evolved over the last few years. A short time ago the professional development opportunities were directed purely by Administration and the Professional Development Committee. That committee was comprised of five individuals, 2 high school teachers, 2 elementary teachers, 1 middle school teacher. These individuals generally met a few times early in the new year to plan all activities for the coming calendar year. What we found was that most PD opportunities did little to generate enthusiasm or more importantly, change. This process was not measurable and deemed to be ineffective the majority on the time.
The district currently uses a walk-through tool to collect data in an effort to make better informed decisions in regards to PD. This data is looked at by the building and district administration, as well as, each buildings Building Leadership Team. The data is then used to help direct needs that seem to be relevant to the larger majority of professionals in the district. During a five minute walk-through building administrators look for and note multiple items. These general items would include: Environment/Management, Design/Instructional Planning, Strategies used in Instruction, Environment/Resources, and Design/Participation/Interaction with Learning, Highest Thinking Level, and Strategies / Learning Demonstrated.
Additionally, the district has adopted a new initiative for individualizing PD for the professionals employed with the district this academic year. The district has purchased PD 360 for Educators. This interactive web based system will in conjunction with the teacher and administrator individualize PD opportunities. Teachers watch selected videos and answer reflection questions that are then forwarded to the administrator in charge. A few days later follow-up questions will again be generated and forwarded to the teacher. Continuous self-reflection and a commitment to engaging in professional conversations with colleges from around the globe will give professionals a tool that will close the gap between training and