Professional Development

Creating space for professional development

Most teachers and school leaders recognize the importance of quality professional development. Education is a complex profession, requiring an ever-changing set of unique skills. The growth of teachers is important if our schools are to continue to improve as places of learning, where students are growing toward maturity academically, emotionally, socially and spiritually.

However, creating the space for quality professional development to occur can be a challenge. Schools are notoriously busy places and teachers are notoriously busy people as they balance all the demands of a complex role.  Sometimes the humorous graphic on the right doesn’t feel too far from reality, does it?! Professional development is not likely to be effective if it is “squeezed in” as a small and disconnected addition to an already loaded agenda.  It requires the investment of time, focus and energy.

How does your school create space for teacher professional development? Share your experience in the comments below:

– What changes to expectations or schedules have you tried in order to create space for professional development?

– What challenges have you experienced in creating space for professional development?

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  • This is a great topic!
    It would be interesting to hear if any of your schools are using Professional Learning Communities (PLC’s), and if yes, how is it built into the school program and schedule?

  • I’m involved in a PLC for teachers in my learning area at the school where I teach. We meet once each month, for about and hour after school. After our last meeting a colleague was sharing with me that she felt a bit discouraged because we don’t meet often enough, and seem to loose momentum between meetings. I share her feelings. I enjoy our meetings and think that the work we are doing is valuable, so I would like to have more frequent time together.