Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Professional Development on a Budget

I'm hearing from colleagues and reading in various publications that schools and districts are cutting back professional development budgets to help ease the economic burden with which schools and districts are trying to cope. Rather than get into the reasons why this practice is a terrible idea, I thought I'd propose a viable professional development alternative for schools and districts no longer able to send teachers and administrators to conferences, seminars and traditional off-site professional development.

For the cost of one book per participant, along with perhaps a meal or two along the way, as an educational leaders you can create professional learning communities within your division, school or district. A professional learning community can be as simple as a group of educators committed to reading and discussing a common book. On the other hand, a professional learning community could be a group of teachers or administrators committed to weekly meetings to discuss a book, articles, research, teaching practices and more, over the course of a year or more.

Some of my faculty are beginning a professional learning community centered on a book called Never Work Harder Than Your Students. Elsewhere on our campus other grade-level teams and content departments will be working through Engaging Grammar and Directing the Writing Workshop. While I'm fortunate enough to be at a school where leadership values professional development to the extent that we are not being forced to cut the professional development budget, we see great value in fostering a sense of lifelong learning, gleaning wisdom and knowledge from the educators we have on campus, and generating meaningful conversation amongst our teachers.

1 comment:

karim said...

Good one on leadership and it helps a lot.

Karim - Mind Power