What Does Supportive Teacher Centered Professional Development Look Like?

When a teacher first starts teaching, we know that their learning improves dramatically. Learning to be a good teacher will happen in just about any school during those first few years. But, over time there are schools where teachers keep learning. Unfortunately, this doesn't happen in most schools. In this episode, we will study some important research that shows us the type of schools where teachers continue to learn how to be a better teacher. This is a very important show for curriculum directors, professional developers, and especially principals.

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However, don't think that teachers have no control. When we teachers begin to think differently and connect with other teachers who have a can-do attitude, we can change things. Remember, teachers, you can decide to learn. Just by banding together and supporting each other, we can make a huge difference, as you'll learn.

Today's Sponsor: Bloomz

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Show Notes: Dr. Matthew Kraft

  • Put simply, the research found that teachers improve at much faster rates when they work in school that provide supportive professional environments.
  • 6 dimensions of strong professional work environments
    1. Schools that had orderly and clear discipline rules
    2. Schools that had frequent and high quality peer collaboration
    3. Schools that had supportive and responsive school leadership
    4. Schools were there were sustained and context specific professional development opportunities
    5. Schools that had strong cultures characterized by mutual trust and respect
    6. Schools where evaluations provided meaningful feedback that teachers could use to improvie their practice
  • Not only do individual teachers matter, but the school context in which those teachers work also matters … for student learning.
  • Without these supportive professional environments, teachers are not able to deliver the most effective instruction and improve on the job as well as they might be able to otherwise.

[callout]Today's notes were compiled by my research assistant, Lisa Durff. Thank you, Lisa![/callout]

Who is Matthew Kraft?

Matthew Kraft @MatthewAKraftis an Assistant Professor of Education and Economics at Brown University. He studies human capital policies in education with a focus on teacher effectiveness and organizational change in K-12 urban public schools.

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Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis is a full-time classroom teacher and IT Director in Georgia, USA. She is Mom of three, wife of one, and loves talking about the wise, transformational use of technology for teaching and doing good in the world. She hosts the 10 Minute Teacher Podcast which interviews teachers around the world about remarkable classroom practices to inspire and help teachers. Vicki focuses on what unites us -- a quest for truly remarkable life-changing teaching and learning. The goal of her work is to provide actionable, encouraging, relevant ideas for teachers that are grounded in the truth and shared with love. Vicki has been teaching since 2002 and blogging since 2005. Vicki has spoken around the world to inspire and help teachers reach their students. She is passionate about helping every child find purpose, passion, and meaning in life with a lifelong commitment to the joy and responsibility of learning. If you talk to Vicki for very long, she will encourage you to "Relate to Educate" or "innovate like a turtle" or to be "a remarkable teacher." She loves to talk to teachers who love their students and are trying to do their best. Twitter is her favorite place to share and she loves to make homemade sourdough bread and cinnamon rolls and enjoys running half marathons with her sisters. You can usually find her laughing with her students or digging into a book.

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Vicki Davis writes The Cool Cat Teacher Blog for classroom teachers everywhere
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