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Classroom Tip: How to Maximize Your Professional Development

A teacher’s most precious resource is time.  We constantly seek ways to use our time wisely.  One guaranteed time saver is linking your professional development (PD) commitments to your teaching practice.  The buzzword for this is job-embedded professional development.  Let’s explore the term.

The U.S. Department of Education explains that the phrase “job-embedded” “connotes a direct connection between a teacher’s work in the classroom and the professional development the teacher receives.”

Job-Embedded PD & Connecting with Your Peers

When a teacher can envision how a course or seminar will fit into his or her classroom environment, the PD takes on greater meaning.  An immediate and strong connection is made between the new knowledge and its practical application.  Teachers are true innovators!  We love to bring new ideas, strategies, and tools for our instruction.  When PD is clearly job-embedded, the teacher can practice the course material in the classroom, analyze its outcome, and discuss its efficacy with the course members in real time.  This is a wonderful opportunity for each one of us to view our own grade level from a different perspective.  In this era of Common Core, with its emphasis on “college and career readiness”, it’s helpful for us to remember that every teacher, K-12, contributes to a child’s successful school career.

The checklist below will guide you in planning your professional development for this academic year. It can be very helpful to take a course with a colleague.  It automatically gives you time to discuss students of concern and coordinate plans of action.   When a community of teachers takes PD together, they can build a stronger vision of achievement for the student body based on their shared experience.

Activity – Reflect on your 2018-19 Professional Development Plan

Professional Development Goals 2018-2019 What is required by your school/district?  What are your personal goals?
How many PDP points do I wish/need to earn in 2018-19?
How many graduate credits to I wish/need to earn in 2018-19?
What needs do I see among my students after an initial screening and one+ month of class work?
After personal reflection, what skills can I develop to enhance my classroom practice this school year?
What are the curriculum priorities of my school and district?  How do they align with my own needs and my students’ needs?
When is the best time for me to schedule PD?  

Commonwealth Learning Online Institute (CLOI) and Job-Embedded Skills

CLOI courses offer practical, job-embedded, in-depth courses covering a wide variety of reading topics.  Our courses contain a wealth of material including assessments you can use with your students.  Many of our courses offer the opportunity to evaluate an assessment with one of your students, analyze its results, and discuss it online with professional peers.