Designing, implementing, and evaluating professional development

Miklus, Corey J.
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University of Delaware
Designing professional development (PD) for teachers is at the heart of instructional improvement. Based on the PD literature, I grounded my strategies in: working with experts, working with colleagues, aligned curriculum, practice in classrooms, observations and feedback, and school wide walkthroughs. This portfolio begins with my efforts as building principal to design, implement, and monitor the effects of PD in an elementary school, revealing the challenges inherent in such efforts. I took what I learned and moved to larger-scale district work. In 2010, the Delaware State Board of Education adopted the Common Core State Standards (CCSS, 2010) for all schools in the state of Delaware. Artifacts illustrate the efforts I made to ensure a coherent and systematic PD process was in place for teachers in the Caesar Rodney School District for teachers and administrators. Efforts began with introduction to the standards and ended with teachers changing some of their instruction. Administrators learned to monitor implementation efforts. During this initiative I learned that teachers and administrators are at different levels of willingness and expertise to implement the CCSS. The majority of teachers reported that their knowledge of the standards has increased but they still are in need of more carefully aligned curriculum materials. A small portion of teachers reported that they are fully implementing the standards at their grade level. The administrators were receptive to the walkthrough documents that I created and are currently using them on a weekly basis. Based on the feedback I received from teachers and administrators, I will continue to design more training. Recommendations for future teacher training include learning progressions based on the standards and specific strategy instruction. This training must move teacher and administrator understanding of the standards to a much deeper level of implementation. Other recommendations include analyzing all curriculum materials used for instruction for their alignment to the CCSS and refining monitoring documents so that both teachers and administrators are clear on the teaching and learning expectations required by the CCSS.