I’m a little confused about professional development, teacher interest and administrative leadership. I thought that all professional development should focus on enabling the teachers to help their students be better learners.
However, I know of a professional developer who gets all the topics for the professional development from the teachers. The teachers are happy because they get their topics; the developer is happy because teachers attend professional development. I was asked do some professional development there. When I found out the topics, “Math Websites”, “Social Studies Websites” and “English websites”, I asked if I could add some teaching strategies in. I changed the courses from jumping from website to website to seeing how the websites helped in assessment and analyzing the structure that the websites provided for struggling students. I found it interesting that I had to take the leadership in creating professional development that would focus on student learning.
Do the professional developers you know lead or follow? Do these developers focus the professional development directly on improving student learning? Or do they focus on the teachers’ desire for the newest tech toys? Or do they focus on productivity items such as making handouts look better? How does professional development in your area lead directly to improved student learning?