It is important to adopt best practices concerning Professional Development is another area where we can increase teacher performance and cut expenses. During times of fiscal crisis we have the opportunity to be creative and innovative. Actually, we should never spend money on what is not effective. Professional Development is another area school district need to revise and focus on.

Professional Development in many districts is scattered. There is no evidence that these programs are aligned with the curriculum or improve student outcomes. Professional Development dollars are scattered on topics only remotely related to teaching. Some examples include team building, enrichment or communicating better with co-workers. Professional Development should be entirely focused on improving instruction in the classroom and nothing more. Examples include effective lesson planning, classroom management and the delivery of effective instruction. High achieving charter schools have a vigorous training program on the “nuts and bolts” of effective teaching, not on education theory.

The goal is to “codify” what the best teachers in the country are doing and set up an intensive training program surrounding these methods. It can be called the “Method of the Masters” if you will. Is reading a book going to make you a better teacher or specific learning what a great teacher does in actual practice? I think we know the answer.

With effective online delivery methods, teachers can learn at their own convenience as well. With the ability to interact and pose questions learning can be effective, ongoing, and meaningful. These skills can be applied, taught and practiced among all staff members. This will raise mediocrity into excellence. In addition we can reduce expenses as well.

What is not to like?

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