Rann Miller: If Teachers Are So Important To Student Achievement, How Are Your Teachers Being Developed Professionally?
Professional development, bane of the teachers’ existence. Rann Miller offers some tips for providing PD that’s not so useless.
In the area of content, school and/or district leaders must support teachers concerning teacher content knowledge and teacher content delivery. Teacher content knowledge refers to the knowledge a teacher has about their content. Teacher content delivery refers to the strategies for articulating their knowledge to students.
In the area of instruction, school and/or district leaders must support teachers concerning teacher instructional outcomes and teacher instructional strategies. Teacher instructional outcomes refers to the desired information/knowledge the teacher desires the students to internalize as a result of their teaching the lesson. Teacher instructional strategies refers to the various methods utilized for students to internalize the information/knowledge from the lesson.
School leaders MUST prioritize and invest in teacher growth in the areas. Prioritizing means places these at the top of the list for PD. This is a must for building principals since they are instructional leaders. Investment means dedicating time and intention on securing the best resources for teachers to grow in those areas.
For the purposes of this post, I want to focus on the latter specifically.
Sometimes, the best resources for teachers come from teacher leader/teaching experts. Those folks may not be in your school building or within your school district. The best supports for teachers may come from outside your district altogether. They may come from other school districts, consultant/consultant organizations or from university spaces.
It’s imperative that you tap into these folks/groups to support teacher content and instruction. Reading books is good but they will not grow teachers without someone to support their analysis of their reading and their translating knowledge into teacher practice.
But I must caution, just bringing in people to speak to teachers isn’t enough either.