Professional development is the groundwork for keeping teachers informed of the most current and effective best teaching practices which allows all students in that building an equitable education. Lyons & Pinnell (2001), explain some of the characteristics of adults educators as learners in a professional setting. As a potential future literacy coach or guide, it will be important to engage my staff in the given topic. There are many things to consider and take account when presenting content to the staff. The listed questions below are direct criteria to use when considering the staff: What do they already know? What are their past experiences? Do you have a group of newer or veteran teachers? Will the things you are teaching them be helpful in their classrooms now? Are you meeting the expectations of the group? Is what you are doing worth their time?These are essential questions to present to staff, similar to questions we ask when we teach our students in the classroom setting. Lyons & Pinnell (2001) also discuss the Constructivist Principles of Teaching.
- Encourage active participation.
- Organize small-group discussions around common concerns.
- Introduce new concepts in context.
- Create a safe environment.
- Develop teachers’ conceptual knowledge through conversation around shared experiences.
- Provide opportunities for teachers to use what they know to construct new knowledge.
- Look for shifts in teachers’ understanding over time.
- Provide additional experiences for teachers who have not yet developed needed conceptual understanding.
Just like we provide successful and engaging mini lessons for our students, a meaningful and successful PD must be effectively planned and prepared for in order to engage and provide purposeful and essential information to all staff.
Lyons, C. A., & Pinnell, G. S. (2001). Systems for change in literacy education: a guide to professional development. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.