3 Steps to fix teacher professional development

Teacher PD Is Still Broken, These 3 Steps Can Fix It

Dan Brown Teacher professional development PD

Many teachers feel like teacher professional development is a waste. Dan Brown shares the three research-based ways to make teacher PD better. What is more hypocritical than a lecture on differentiated instruction or project based learning? But there is teacher professional development that DOES impact learning in the classroom. Let's do that. Listen Now.

The best of teaching should not only be used in our classrooms, it should be used to teach teachers! We can improve professional development for teachers but it will mean redefining the traditional “seat time” approach to professional development. It may also mean redefining what we talk about at professional development experiences. Let's rise to a higher standard and become inspired to be the model leaders this generation of teachers and students needs to improve education around the world.

Essential Questions: Teacher PD Is Still Broken, These 3 Steps Can Fix It

  • What are the 3 key aspects of excellent PD according to research?
  • How do we improve professional development and make it so it can get approved by regulatory organizations?
  • How teachers can take on hybrid roles and become leaders in professional development?
  • How can we bring student  and school strengths into teacher professional development?
  • How we can get to personalized learning plans for teachers?
  • How can teachers move from martyrs to models?

Educator Resources from this Episode

students need models not martryrs Dan Brown quote

For your next professional learning opportunity, make it a point to discuss what is going well with students and bring student work to catalyze a discussion. Use that as a jumping off point for a conversation about how to help students grow. Dan Brown

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3 Steps to fix teacher professional development

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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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Seth Woods February 7, 2016 - 11:09 pm

Thanks for reminding us that modeling good teaching is the best way to encourage teachers to use the best teaching practices. This is an outstanding read for those who plan professional learning experiences for teachers. Thank you for sharing!

Kendra Grant August 5, 2017 - 2:59 pm

Hi! Great podcast. I’m in Ontario. We’ve been doing professional growth plans since the 1990’s – meaning we are recognized as professional who can determine our own growth and we’ve been personalizing our own professional learning since that time! We also have a College of Teachers (just like doctors) where we’re recognized as professionals. I’m a big believer in changing the language to change the focus and outcome. As such I like to talk about professional learning vs. PD. Professional Learning reflects the “student-driven” approach we want for our learners. Rather than an event (PD) determined by the district and lead by an expert, professional learning is a process and a habit. I love this definition: Professional Learning is the “…application of an iterative cycle of inquiry that teachers engage in daily, within a collaborative and supportive environment; with the intent to change practice. (Hannay, Wideman & Seller, 2006) Much of what you discuss in the podcast reflects this approach but in order for it to work it has to be wrestled away from the “top”. From that lofty view numbers and data are the most important. As you mention in the podcast, (professional) learning is messy, it isn’t linear and it isn’t a score or number (I might have added that :) Professional learning models the inquiry process (again, the one we want students to use) and it is supported by our PLN and communities (PLC, CoP) and, when done right, even PD. PS: Take a look at the new ISTE Teacher Standards. They talk about Empowered Professionals. Great place to start.

Vicki Davis August 5, 2017 - 4:12 pm

Thanks for sharing! Great resources and thoughts for everyone to read!


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