The traditional definition of Professional Development will reveal that it is the process of improving the skills of staff members through education and training, which leads to an improvement in performance and productivity. The professional development of educators can be achieved through various methods including classroom observations, peer to peer mentoring and workshops.
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(Also known as Classroom Observations and Learning Walks)
There are many different names for this process, classroom walkthroughs and classroom observations are the two most popular titles in North America, and learning walks in Britain. Classroom walkthroughs are a form of instructional leadership, and an integral tool for the professional development of educators. Typically they require a school leader such as a Principal, Vice Principal or Administrator to visit classrooms in order to view instructional practices and how the school is running. These observations are then followed by a meeting with the observer and the teacher of an observed classroom for professional feedback.
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Teacher and Principal Evaluations
This incorporates the quality assessment of teachers and principals. Typically these evaluations are conducted through instructional observations, measurement of student performance, and an analysis of the teacher or principal’s knowledge on key topics. These evaluations measure the professional development of teachers and principals and are important when deciding on the future tenure of school staff.
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Peer mentoring, as it applies to the world of educators, consists of teachers, principals or other school employees assisting colleagues with similar job titles in order to improve upon their skills. This is form of professional development that can be very useful and effective. Video has made this type of professional development even more effective by giving a greater amount of mentors access to an individual, and offering mentoring from home.
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In order to allow students to keep up with the latest in technology, schools must enable access to technology in the classroom. Technology integration allows students to utilize computer and other related technology skills to solve problems. It is becoming more and more common in this ever changing world.
(Also Known as Flipped Learning and Blended Learning)
Flipped Teaching is a form of learning wherein all lessons are given via video, to be watched by students at their own home. Therefore all homework is done at school during normal school hours. The reason this is done is to enable an increase in teacher-student interaction in order to solve problems as opposed to spending the majority of in-class time lecturing.
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Standards-Based grading involves measuring the proficiency of students on course objectives. These objectives are well-defined and differ from point-based grades by actually describing what the student has accomplished. A snippet from Media-X vice-president, Paul Shuster’s blog article further explains this: Standards-Based Grading helps refine and adjust instruction. In a traditional grade book, a student could have marks such as 75% on a quiz and 70% on a unit test. What does this tell us about what the student does or doesn’t know ? If that student had been assessed using Standards-Based Grading, we’d have information such as the student was ‘Proficient’ in identifying the elements of a story, ‘Partially proficient’ in writing an alternate ending for a story, and ‘Advanced’ in Comparing and contrasting two stories. This provides a wealth of information as compared to a 100 point system.
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The common core state standards is an initiative in the United States that directly details the competency of students in the fields of english language arts and mathematics. These standards were developed by basing this area of the curriculum on the best practices used around the world.