Sunday, September 9, 2012

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Louisiana Teachers Use Professional-Development Day to Protest - Teacher Beat - Education Week

Louisiana Teachers Use Professional-Development Day to Protest - Teacher Beat - Education Week

This article ends with a statement about how teachers see professional development as non-essential - something subordinate to other responsibilities.  Supposedly, this is unlike what occurs in top-performing countries.

Although I am a big believer in PD and a constant examination/honing of teaching methods, I often find the professional development that I'm asked to sit through VERY non-essential.  Most of it has been very passive - exactly the opposite of great teaching.  This passive, sit-and-listen type of professional development is probably also very time-effective and inexpensive in comparison to things like lesson studies, teacher observations and debriefings, and other active forms of PD.  Another reason PD in the US is so poor is that it seems to have become just another responsibility of already-too-busy administrators.  It is an afterthought.  And it is an area that, if bettered, could substantially improve teaching and learning in the US.  (Although it's NOT an area that seems to lend itself to data collection.)

Monday, March 5, 2012

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The Odd Couple: Dennis and Wendy

The_Odd_Couple: Dennis and Wendy

In the above piece, Diane Ravitch wonders how Wendy Kopp can call for better teacher preparation, given that TFA places teachers in very difficult assignments after only 5 weeks of training.

I think Wendy Kopp can rightfully call for better teacher prep. Yeah, 5 weeks is too short to get someone really ready to teach. But so is any amount of time, really. And the 5 weeks is, at least, directly focused on how to deal with the most difficult teaching assignments and is infused with actual teaching. After training, TFA also supports its teachers instead of just sending them out to sink or swim. And they collect data on how well their teachers perform and then use that data to augment their training and professional development programs. Wendy Kopp definitely has the right to call for better teacher prep. programs!